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The United Nations and Decolonization

Trusteeship Council mission to New Guinea in 1956.

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, 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories (NSGTs) across the globe remain to be decolonized, home to nearly 2 million people. Thus, the process of decolonization is not complete. Finishing the job will require a continuing dialogue among the administering Powers, the Special Committee on Decolonization, and the peoples of the territories, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions on decolonization.

In 1990, the General Assembly proclaimed the first International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, including a specific plan of action. December 2010 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration, coinciding with the end of the Second International Decade and the proclamation of a Third one.

The Committee of 24 (Special Committee on Decolonization) and its Bureau are assisted by the Decolonization Unit of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs for substantive support and by the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management for secretariat services. The Department of Global Communications carries out a number of outreach activities on decolonization, including the maintenance of this website.

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