|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
SECRETARY-GENERAL, IN MESSAGE TO SPECIAL DECOLONIZATION COMMITTEE, URGES CLOSE
COOPERATION BETWEEN ADMINISTERING POWERS, NON-SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORIES
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the Special Committee on Decolonization, as delivered by Muhammad Shaaban, Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Management, in New York on 27 February:
I am pleased to address the Special Committee on Decolonization as you begin your 2009 session.
The United Nations can look back with a great sense of accomplishment at what has been achieved in the field of decolonization since the Organization’s founding. Today we gather to renew our commitment to this endeavour. This is an unfinished process that has been with the international community for too long, with 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories remaining on the Special Committee’s list.
You open this year’s session as we approach the end of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, which has provided a framework for the continued activities of the Special Committee. In these last two years of the Decade, proclaimed by the General Assembly to run from 2001 to 2010, we need to accelerate our work to achieve concrete results in the decolonization process. And we need to bring our collective efforts to a successful conclusion.
The Special Committee must continue to support the legitimate aspirations of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories so they can exercise their right to self-determination. To help those Territories achieve this in a manner that fulfils the requirements of the Charter and the General Assembly’s 1960 Declaration on Decolonization, I encourage you to continue to pursue a pragmatic and realistic approach, taking into account the specific circumstances of each Territory.
A successful, meaningful and productive decolonization process cannot take place without close cooperation between the administering Powers and the Territories. I commend the Special Committee for recent efforts in that direction.
Under the Charter, the administering Powers have a special obligation to bring the Territories under their administration to an appropriate level of self-government. I hope the administering Powers will work together with the Special Committee and the people in the Territories to find the appropriate format and timing for the completion of decolonization in each Territory.
Towards that end I encourage you to follow the example of New Zealand and Tokelau, whose partnership has shown what close cooperation can achieve. The United Nations Secretariat, for its part, remains ready to provide the necessary support.
I wish you much success in the year ahead. Together, we can make real progress before the Second Decade concludes in 2010.
Thank you very much.
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