|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Special Committee on Decolonization
2nd Meeting (AM)
Special Committee on Decolonization to Hold Regional Seminar
in Guayaquil, Ecuador, 28-30 May
The Special Committee on Decolonization — also known as the Special Committee of 24 — today decided to hold its Pacific Regional Seminar in Guayaquil, Ecuador, from 28 to 30 May 2013, to review progress in the United Nations decolonization process.
The Seminar will seek to assess the past decade and focus on goals and expected accomplishments in decolonization over the coming years within the framework of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2011-2020), which was declared by the General Assembly in December 2010. Discussions at the seminar will assist the Special Committee in making a realistic analysis and evaluation of the situation in the Non-Self-Governing Territories, on a case-by-case basis, as well as the ways in which the United Nations system and the international community at large could enhance programmes of assistance to the Territories. The Seminar’s conclusions and recommendations will then be considered at the Committee’s substantive session in June and were expected to be transmitted to the General Assembly.
Committee Chairman Diego Morejón ( Ecuador) said that, as in the past, the Committee would also celebrate the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples’ of the Non-Self-Governing Territories at that Seminar.
The Seminar’s participants will include a formal delegation of the Committee, United Nations Member States, representatives of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, the nations administering them, as well as experts from civil society and non-governmental organizations.
With the question of the seminar venue now settled, the Secretariat will be able to proceed expeditiously with the logistical preparations for that Seminar, in close consultation with the Committee’s Bureau and the Ecuadorian Government, Mr. Morejón said.
The Committee agreed that the composition of its eight-member delegation to the seminar will include members representing the four regional groups — the African Group; the Asia-Pacific Group; the Eastern European Group, represented by the Russian Federation, as the only member in that group; and the Group of the Latin American and Caribbean States; all of which were still consulting with regard to their respective nominations.
Today’s session — the Committee’s second meeting for 2013 — also discussed related items, such as the Seminar’s agenda and travelling costs, including the endorsement of English and Spanish as the official languages to be used, among other guidelines and rules of procedure.
The members of the Committee are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Chile, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Mali, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Syria, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania and Venezuela.
In a vast political reshaping of the world, more than 80 former colonies comprising some 750 million people, have gained independence since the creation of the United Nations. At present, 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories across the globe remain to be decolonized, home to nearly 2 million people. Those territories are American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Gibraltar, Guam, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands and Western Sahara.
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