Special Committee on Decolonization Approves Guidelines, Modalities for 2023 Pacific Regional Seminar, in Bali, Indonesia
The Special Committee on Decolonization met today to approve the guidelines and rules of procedure for its 2023 Pacific Regional Seminar, which will be held in Bali, Indonesia, from 24 to 26 May.
Highlighting Indonesia’s gracious offer to host the event, Menissa Rambally (Saint Lucia), Chair of the 29-member body — 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 — asked its members to ensure timely nominations from their regional groups for participation in the seminar. She noted the financial constraints the Committee faces and underscored the need to avoid exorbitant travel costs, while adding that the Committee will also invite elected and/or appointed officials from Non-Self-Governing Territories as well as experts to attend the seminar.
The Special Committee approved the Seminar’s guidelines and rules of procedure (document A/AC.109/2023/19) without a vote. The Chair noted that the document contains mainly technical updates.
Indonesia’s representative thanked the Special Committee for the opportunity to host the seminar and shared the progress made by his country towards preparing the it. Logistical arrangements are being put in place, he said, including commitments with the seminar venue. Indonesia is now in the process of concluding the host country arrangement with the Secretariat, he said.
Papua New Guinea’s representative, thanking Indonesia for offering to host the seminar at the “Island of the Gods”, added that the Balinese people are renowned for their hospitality. He also acknowledged the Secretariat of the Decolonization Unit for their unwavering efforts to ensure that the Committee’s work is fruitful.
Other delegates also thanked Indonesia for hosting the Pacific Regional Seminar, underscoring its importance.
Nicaragua’s delegate emphasized the importance of the event’s theme for 2023, “Innovative steps to ensure the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Non-Self-Governing Territories”. He also stressed that in order for the regional seminars to be truly successful, they must be inclusive and ensure the participation of those elected representatives of Non-Self-Governing Territories who wish to take part. The Committee needs to have the appropriate resources to ensure this, he said, requesting more information on current budget limitations in order to ensure that the Committee can carry out all its mandated activities.
The representative of Venezuela echoed those words, adding that it is crucial to take measures to guarantee the active and effective participation of all representatives of Non-Self-Governing Territories in the seminar.
The Special Committee organizes seminars, alternately for the Caribbean and the Pacific regions, to review the progress achieved in implementation of the Plan of Action for the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.
The 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories are: American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands (Malvinas)*, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Guam, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands and Western Sahara. The administering Powers are France, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.
The General Assembly established the Special Committee in 1961 as its subsidiary organ devoted to the issue of decolonization, by adopting resolution 1654 (XVI).__________
* A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).