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.

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Latest developments

In the Spotlight

“The experience gained and lessons learned from the pandemic provide the basis for promoting enhanced response to future pandemics and strengthening the resilience in the face of new and emerging challenges."

C-24 Chair Ambassador Keisha McGuire at the opening session of the C-24 Pacific Regional Seminar
11 May 2022

“[The] seminar has consistently recognized the cross-cutting nature of the many challenges faced by Non-Self-Governing Territories. It has underlined those efforts that must be made… for the continued strengthening of administrative capacity, good governance, and economic stability, while working towards the full eradication of colonialism."

Special Envoy of the President of the General Assembly Ambassador Thilmeeza Hussain on behalf of H.E. Abdullah Shahid at the closing session of the C-24 Pacific Regional Seminar
13 May 2022

Secretary-General's message

"We must not forget the challenges facing the Non-Self-Governing Territories, particularly in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic."

Chef de Cabinet Mr. Courtenay Rattray
on behalf of the UN Secretary-General at the
opening session of the Special Committee on
18 February 2022