It is a pleasure to greet the Pacific Regional Seminar of the Special Committee on Decolonization. I thank the people and Government of Grenada for hosting a regional seminar for the third time, following similar gatherings in 1992 and 2007.
This regional seminar is an opportunity to examine the situations in the remaining 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories from the political perspective and to consider socio-economic, environmental and cultural challenges that are relevant for the completion of the respective decolonization processes.
This year’s focus on the Sustainable Development Goals in the context of the Non-Self-Governing Territories is especially timely. The SDGs, set out in the 2030 Agenda, are a blueprint for a common future of peace and prosperity. For the 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories facing the challenges of climate change, access to healthcare, diversification of economies, conservation of marine resources and scarcity of drinking water, implementing the Agenda is of particular importance.
The Special Committee, in fulfilling its decolonization mandate, can assist the Territories to take actions towards a more sustainable world. But the Special Committee cannot act alone. All parties should be involved in achieving the SDGs and advancing the decolonization agenda.
Decolonization is still incomplete. What we need today to accomplish this monumental task is political will, creative thinking and action in partnership. Please accept my best wishes for productive discussions that contribute to this essential work.