SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON DECOLONIZATION APPROVES AGENDA FOR PACIFIC REGIONAL SEMINAR TO TAKE PLACE FROM 18 TO 20 MAY IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

6 April 2004
GA/COL/3092

SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON DECOLONIZATION APPROVES AGENDA FOR PACIFIC REGIONAL SEMINAR TO TAKE PLACE FROM 18 TO 20 MAY IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

06/04/2004
Press Release
GA/COL/3092


Special Committee on                                       

 Decolonization                                            

2nd Meeting (AM)


SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON DECOLONIZATION APPROVES AGENDA FOR PACIFIC REGIONAL SEMINAR


TO TAKE PLACE FROM 18 TO 20 MAY IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA


The Special Committee on Decolonization this morning adopted the agenda, guidelines and rules of procedure for its Pacific Regional Seminar, to take place from 18 to 20 May in Madang, Papua New Guinea, as well as the list of participants in the Committee’s delegation.


The General Assembly’s Special Committee, formally known as the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, holds a yearly seminar, alternating between the Caribbean and Pacific region, to assess the situation in the Non-Self-Governing Territories, in particular their constitutional evolution towards self-determination.  Apart from the Committee’s delegation, others, including representatives of Member States, of administering Powers and of Non-Self-Governing Territories, may participate in the seminars.


This year, the Seminar will focus on the case of Tokelau, one of the 16 remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories, and on the Committee’s role in facilitating the decolonization of the Territories within the framework of the Second International Decade on the Eradication of Colonialism, which is in its fourth year.  The Seminar would also celebrate the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.  More information, including the Seminar’s Rules of Procedure, is contained in document A/AC.109/2004/1.


The Committee’s delegation will consist of Chairman Robert Guba Aisi (Papua New Guinea) on behalf of the host country, as well as Congo and Mali (on behalf of the African Group of States), Papua New Guinea and Syria (on behalf of the Asian Group of States), Cuba and Venezuela (on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group of States) and Russian Federation (on behalf of the Eastern European Group of States).


The Committee would also extend invitations to selected experts and non-governmental organizations.  A delegation of Front de liberation nationale Kanak socialiste (FLNKS) of New Caledonia would be officially invited to participate along with the representative from the New Caledonia Government.


Representatives thanked the people and Government of Papua New Guinea for hosting this year’s Seminar.  They stressed the participation of representatives of administering Powers in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation, without whom, it was said, the Committee could not fulfil its mandates.  Speakers also emphasized the need to build on the work of former seminars, in particular last year’s Seminar in Anguilla, in order to move forward towards conclusion of the Second Decade and of the Committee’s work.


The representative of New Zealand, administering Power of Tokelau, said his Government would inform the Seminar on significant developments that had taken place in Tokelau, including increasing the capacity of Tokelau’s public service so that the Territory could take on full self-government.  Perhaps two years from now, he said, New Zealand would no longer be an administering Power.


The representatives of Syria, Cuba, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Iran, Chile, Congo and Saint Lucia also participated in the debate.


Apart from Tokelau, the Non-Self-Governing Territories are:  American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands/Malvinas, Gibraltar, Guam, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands, and Western Sahara.


The current members of the Special Committee are:  Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Chile, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, Fiji, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Syria, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania and Venezuela.


The Special Committee will meet again at a date to be announced.


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For information media. Not an official record.