DECOLONIZATION COMMITTEE ADOPTS TEXT CONCERNING SELF-DETERMINATION PROGRESS IN 11 ISLAND TERRITORIES

17 June 2004
GA/COL/3104

DECOLONIZATION COMMITTEE ADOPTS TEXT CONCERNING SELF-DETERMINATION PROGRESS IN 11 ISLAND TERRITORIES

17/06/2004
Press ReleaseGA/COL/3104

Decolonization committee adopts text concerning self-determination

progress in 11 islandterritories

The Special Committee on Decolonization this morning adopted a draft resolution on questions related to the decolonization of the Non-Self-Governing Territories of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.

By the terms of the draft resolution (A/AC.109/2004/L.11), adopted without a vote, the Special Committee reaffirmed the inalienable right of the peoples of the Territories to self-determination, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV), containing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.  It further reaffirmed that in the process of decolonization, there is no alternative to the principle of self-determination, a fundamental human right.

The Committee also reaffirmed the responsibility of the administering Powers under the Charter to promote the economic and social development and to preserve the cultural identity of the Territories.  It would have the Territories and administering Powers take all necessary measures to protect and conserve the environment of the Territories under their administration against any environmental degradation.

Under a further provision of the draft, the Special Committee would urge Member States to contribute to the efforts of the United Nations to usher in a world free of colonialism and to give their full support to the Committee in its endeavours towards that end.

After the adoption of the draft, a representative of Cuba said the text reflected the success of the Committee’s work as it was clearly action-oriented and could guide not just the work of the Committee, but also the actions of other Member States of the United Nations concerning the situation in the eleven territories under consideration.

The Special Committee on Decolonization will reconvene Friday morning to begin consideration of the question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).

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For information media. Not an official record.