New York

18 February 2021

Secretary-General's message to the Organizational meeting of the 2021 session of the Special Committee on Decolonization

Delivered by Ms. Rosemary A. DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to greet the Special Committee at the beginning of its 2021 session.

At the outset, I wish to express my solidarity with all those affected by the pandemic, including in the Non-Self-Governing Territories.

The specific challenges of sustainable development that these Territories face have now been compounded by the health, social and economic consequences of COVID-19.

Addressing these impacts requires improved global cooperation and solidarity.

That requires vaccine equity – ensuring that the vaccines are affordable and accessible to all. Vaccinationalism is self-defeating and will only delay global recovery.

Together, we must keep our promise to leave no-one behind.


This session marks the beginning of the Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.

December 2020 marked the 60th anniversary of the Declaration on Decolonization.

The Committee has continued its efforts to implement the Declaration.

The Committee has also improved its working methods, adjusting its programme of work to better inform its deliberations and decision-making.

The Committee is further determined to strengthen informal dialogues with the administering Powers and other stakeholders.

A constructive relationship with all involved is indispensable for the advancement of the decolonization process, on a case-by-case basis.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Expediting the process of decolonization must be seen as an imperative.

Together let us commit to engage in new dynamics to address the challenges ahead in a pragmatic manner, in line with the Charter and relevant resolutions of the United Nations.

I wish you every success in your important work.

Thank you.