I am pleased to send greetings to all participants at this regional seminar convened under the auspices of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization, or “C24”. I thank the Government and people of Fiji for hosting the event.
You meet as we near the mid-point of the United Nations Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. The Special Committee has undertaken important work in recent months, including through the visiting mission to New Caledonia last March with the full cooperation of the administering Power, France.
Other initiatives include Bureau consultations with each of the four administering Powers - France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States - as well as with various other stakeholders. The Special Committee has also improved its methods of work by expanding its Bureau to include a member from the Asia and the Pacific region.
I welcome these innovative measures, which make the C-24 more visible and, more importantly, more active. Our aim is to give greater priority to the decolonization agenda and to spur accelerated action.
I trust that political will, applied on a case-by-case basis, can evolve on all sides to make progress on the decolonization of the 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories still under the purview of the Special Committee. Good intentions will have to be translated into credible action to make the Third International Decade a success.
This year’s regional seminar on decolonization is a notable effort to facilitate interaction and problem-solving while generating new ideas on the way forward.
I wish you great success.