New York

23 February 2012

Secretary-General's message to opening of the 2012 session of the Special Committee on Decolonization [Delivered by Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs]

 I am pleased to greet the Special Committee as it begins its work for 2012.


The creation of new sovereign nations was once described as one of the great liberating movements of history.


Yet the process of decolonization is not complete.


Sixteen Non-Self-Governing Territories across the globe -- home to nearly 2 million people -- remain to be decolonized.


In keeping with the principles of the Charter and subsequent mandating resolutions, the international community continues it efforts to make tangible progress in assisting those territories to achieve self-determination.


To do so, we will need the constructive involvement of all concerned – notably this Committee, the administering Powers and the Non-Self-Governing Territories themselves.


The Special Committee is in a position to develop innovative approaches and generate new dynamics among all concerned.


Together with the administering Powers and the Territories, suitable pragmatic partnerships leading to the full implementation of the decolonization process should be elaborated on a case-by-case-basis.


Sustained and improved official and informal communication between the Special Committee and the administering Powers will be essential.


The Secretariat, for its part, will continue to assist the Committee in implementing its annual programme of work. 


I wish you every success.