Special Committee on Decolonization Approves 20 Draft Resolutions, Concluding 2022 Session, as Chair Hails Greater Interaction with Non-Self-Governing Territories
Concluding its 2022 substantive session today, the Special Committee on Decolonization approved 20 draft resolutions and decisions to be forwarded to the General Assembly for adoption.
Over the course of the session, the 29-member Special Committee — 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 approved two additional resolutions for the Assembly’s action, on 13 June. (See Press Release GA/COL/3358).
Acting without a vote, the Special Committee approved its annual draft resolution “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples” (document A/AC.109/2022/L.25). By its terms, the General Assembly would call upon administering Powers to take all steps necessary to enable the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to exercise fully, as soon as possible, their right to self-determination, including independence. It would reaffirm that colonialism in any form or manifestation, including economic exploitation, is incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations, the Declaration on Decolonization and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It would further reaffirm its determination to take all steps necessary to bring about the complete and speedy eradication of colonialism.
It also approved, without a vote, a draft resolution titled “Economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories” (document A/AC.109/2022/L.6). By its terms, the Assembly would reaffirm the responsibility of administering Powers to promote the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, as well as the legitimate rights of their peoples over their natural resources.
The Special Committee also approved a consensus draft titled “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations” (document A/AC.109/2022/L.9). By its terms, the General Assembly would recommend that States intensify their efforts through the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system to ensure the Declaration’s full and effective implementation. It would also request that those United Nations entities intensify their engagement with the Special Committee.
Acting again without a vote, members approved a draft resolution titled “Dissemination of information on decolonization” (document A/AC/109/2022/L.4/Rev.1), by which the Assembly would approve the activities undertaken by the Department of Global Communications and the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs to disseminate information on decolonization. It would request the Secretary-General to further enhance the information provided on the United Nations decolonization website, and in other information products, and request the two Departments to undertake measures, through all media available, to publicize the work of the United Nations in the field of decolonization. It would further request the Department of Global Communications to webcast the meetings of the Special Committee at its substantive sessions.
In addition, the Special Committee approved resolutions on the questions of American Samoa (document A/AC.109/2022/L.10), Anguilla (document A/AC.109/2022/L.11), Bermuda (document A/AC.109/2022/L.12), British Virgin Islands (document A/AC.109/2022/L.14), Cayman Islands (document A/AC.109/2022/L.15), French Polynesia (document A/AC.109/2022/L.24), Guam (document A/AC.109/2022/L.16), Monserrat (document A/AC.109/2022/L.17), New Caledonia (document A/AC.109/2022/L.22), Pitcairn Islands (document A/AC.109/2022/L.18), Saint Helena (document A/AC.109/2022/L.19), Tokelau (document A/AC.109/2022/L.23), Turks and Caicos (document A/AC.109/2022/L.20), and the United States Virgin Islands (document A/AC.109/2022/L.21).
Each of those texts would have the General Assembly reaffirm once again the right to self-determination of the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories and urge their respective administrating Powers to cooperate to that end.
The draft resolutions on the questions of New Caledonia and Tokelau were introduced today by the representative of Papua New Guinea, also on behalf of Fiji, who drew attention to several minor editorial amendments made by the co-sponsors in close consultation with the Special Committee’s editorial experts.
In other business, the Special Committee approved a conference room paper (document A/AC.109/2022/CRP.1), containing the draft conclusions and recommendations of its Pacific regional seminar, held from 11 to 13 May 2022 in Castries, Saint Lucia, and decided to annex it to the final report to the seventy-seventh session of the General Assembly.
Members also decided to hold the Special Committee’s 2023 Pacific regional seminar in Indonesia, and to send visiting missions to the British Virgin Islands and New Caledonia, as soon as practicable, taking into account the limited budget.
Special Committee Chair Keisha McGuire (Grenada), delivering brief closing remarks, welcomed the approval of the 22 General Assembly texts, as well as the Special Committee’s significant interactions with petitioners, administering Powers and Member States over the course of its session. Pointing out that members were able to interact with a full three-quarters of the world’s remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories — an increase over its previous sessions — she thanked all those who supported the Special Committee’s work.