NEW YORK, 9 March (Department of Political Affairs) — The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization, formally known as the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (also known as the C-24), will undertake an official visiting mission to New Caledonia and Paris from 12 to 19 March.
New Caledonia is a Non-Self-Governing Territory under the administration of France. The decolonization process of New Caledonia is governed by the Nouméa Accord signed in 1998. The Accord, the implementation of which is monitored by the Committee of Signatories that meets annually, sets out that a referendum on self-determination will be held by 2018.
The visiting mission is based on the decision of the Special Committee on Decolonization, in close consultations with the Government of France. At the Committee of Signatories held in Paris in November 2017, the Government of France suggested that a visiting mission of the Special Committee should be organized during the first quarter of 2018.
The visiting mission will consist of 4 members of the Special Committee: Cuba (Chair), Indonesia, Iraq and Papua New Guinea.
The objective of the visiting mission to New Caledonia is to gather first‑hand information on the situation in the New Caledonia concerning the implementation of the Nouméa Accord and to support New Caledonia in its preparation for the referendum to be held in 2018. The 2018 visiting mission will build on the previous visiting mission dispatched by the Special Committee in March 2014, in order to assess the current situation on the ground, in line with relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Special Committee. (See Press Release GA/COL/3261.)
The Special Committee on Decolonization was established in 1961 as a subsidiary organ of the United Nations General Assembly devoted to the issue of decolonization. There are 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories remaining under the Special Committee’s purview: American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands (Malvinas)*, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Guam, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands and Western Sahara.
* A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).