4 May 1998


4 May 1998

Press Release


19980504 The following statement was issued today by the Acting Chairman of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla (Cuba):

In accordance with the General Assembly resolutions 46/181 and 52/78, the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples will hold the Pacific Regional Seminar in Nadi, Fiji, from 16 to 18 June 1998.

At its forty-sixth session, the General Assembly adopted resolution 46/181 of 19 December 1991, entitled "International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism", and a plan of action "aimed at ushering in the twenty-first century, a world free from colonialism", in which, among others, the Special Committee was requested to organize during the Decade seminars in the Caribbean and Pacific regions alternately, as well as at United Nations Headquarters, to review the progress achieved in the implementation of the plan of action, with the participation of the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories, their elected representatives, the administering Powers, Member States, regional organizations, specialized agencies, non-governmental organizations and experts.

In its resolution 52/78 of 10 December 1997, the General Assembly approved the programme of work of the Special Committee envisaged for 1998, including, among others, the holding of a seminar in the Pacific region to be organized by the Special Committee, and attended by the representatives of all the Non-Self-Governing Territories.

The purpose of the Seminar is to assess the situation in the Non-Self-Governing Territories, particularly their constitutional evolution towards self-determination by the year 2000 as well as the socio-economic situation in these Territories. The Seminar will also identify areas in which the international community could increase and enhance its participation in

_----------_ * Press Release GA/COL/2975 of 30 April 1998 should have been GA/COL/2976.

programmes of assistance and adopt a comprehensive and integrated approach to ensure the political and sustainable socio-economic development of the Territories concerned.

The topics to be considered by the Seminar will assist the Special Committee and the participants in making a realistic evaluation of the situation in the Non-Self-Governing Territories. The Seminar will give pre-eminence to a broad range of views of the peoples of those Territories. It will also secure the participation of organizations and institutions that are actively involved in the political, economic, and social development of those Territories and of selected non-governmental organizations with long and established experience in island Territories.

The contributions of the participants will serve as a basis for the conclusions and recommendations of the Seminar, which will be carefully studied by the Special Committee with a view to submitting proposals to the General Assembly concerning the fulfilment of the objectives of the International Decade.

The agenda of the Seminar is as follows:

-- Enhancing the attainment of the right to self-determination by the Non-Self-Governing Territories; options of self-determination available to the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories under General Assembly resolutions 1514 (XV) and 1541 (XV) of 14 and 15 December 1960;

-- Constitutional developments in the Non-Self-Governing Territories to assist their peoples to attain their right to self-determination; economic and social development in the small island Territories and their impact on the realization of the right to self-determination; constraints faced by and development options available to the small island Territories;

-- The problems of small, structurally open economies: heavy dependence on imports, a limited number of commodities and highly restricted internal markets; food production: development of small-scale agricultural activities and of fisheries; development of tourism: its impact on the economic and social sectors and on the environment;

-- The issue of drug trafficking and money laundering; development of financial management expertise and of skills necessary to negotiate and manage foreign investments; gaining access to adequate information systems; development of industries and of indigenous technological capacities, and manufacturing for export;

- 3 - Press Release GA/COL/2977 4 May 1998

-- Human resources development and the consequences of emigration and immigration; implications for the island Territories of issues pertaining to the environment and to development, such as global warming, sea level rise, sustainable development and Agenda 21; international and regional cooperation in order to mitigate the effects of natural disasters: provision of assistance and coordination of relief preparedness and prevention;

-- Role of the specialized agencies, international organizations and regional organizations in the economic and social development of the Territories; access of Non-Self-Governing Territories to programmes and activities of the United Nations system, with a view to identifying areas in which technical and other assistance could be provided;

-- Particular areas in which regional cooperation requires strengthening both by the Territories concerned and by international agencies: preservation and protection of marine resources from over-exploitation; sea and air transport; disaster preparedness and relief; higher education; research and development; and regional pooling arrangements for sharing special skills and expertise;

-- Questions relating to the Law of the Sea and the Non-Self-Governing Territories; impact on Non-Self-Governing Territories of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (1992), the International Conference on Population and Development (1994), the World Summit for Social Development (1995), and the Fourth World Conference on Women (1995).

On behalf of the Special Committee, I have the honour to invite all Member States and organizations within the United Nations system, as well as intergovernmental organizations to participate in the Seminar. In the meantime, we appeal to the administering Powers to participate in the Seminar as well as to encourage the appointed and elected representatives of the Non-Self-Governing Territories under their respective administrations to take part in the Seminar.

The Special Committee believes that in the absence of visiting missions to Non-Self-Governing Territories, the Seminar provides an ample opportunity to thoroughly discuss the views of the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories regarding their future political status and formulate the modalities of the Special Committee's actions, to ensure the effective implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, to achieve the eradication of colonialism by the year 2000 and to usher in a world based on freedom, democracy and respect for human rights in the twenty-first century.

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For information media. Not an official record.