United Nations and Decolonization: Past to Present

This animation video, produced in accordance with the mandate for dissemination of information on decolonization, highlights the UN’s path of decolonization since 1945, especially its commitment in eradicating colonialism towards our common future.


Since the birth of the United Nations, more than 80 former colonies comprising some 750 million people have gained independence. At present, 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories (NSGTs) across the globe remain on the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, home to nearly 2 million people. Thus, the process of decolonization is not complete. 

Completing this mandate will require a continuing dialogue among the administering Powers, the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence of Colonial Countries and Peoples (also known as the "Special Committee on Decolonization" or the "C-24") and the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions on decolonization.

For more details, see the About page.

Latest developments

In the Spotlight

“This year, we entered the first year of the Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. […] I call on all the Member States to renew their commitment, to strive to make this the last decade to be observed."

C-24 Chair Ambassador Keisha McGuire
at the opening session of
the Special Committee on Decolonization
18 February 2021

Secretary-General's message

"The specific challenges of sustainable development that these [Non-Self-Governing] Territories face have now been compounded by the health, social and economic consequences of COVID-19. Addressing these impacts requires improved global cooperation and solidarity.”

Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo
on behalf of the Secretary-General at the
opening session of the Special Committee on
18 February 2021