Concluding 2023 Session, Decolonization Special Committee Approves 17 Texts, Recommendations, Report on Implementing Decade for Eradicating Colonialism
The Special Committee on Decolonization concluded its 2023 substantive session today, approving 17 resolutions to be forwarded to the General Assembly for adoption. It also approved the draft conclusions and recommendations and the procedural report of the 2023 Pacific regional seminar on the implementation of the Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.
Earlier in 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 five other resolutions for the Assembly’s action. (See Press Releases GA/COL/3369, GA/COL/3371 and GA/COL/3372)
Acting without a vote, the Special Committee today approved its annual draft resolution “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples” (document A/AC.109/2023/L.25). By its terms, the General Assembly would call upon the administering Powers to cooperate fully with the Special Committee to develop and finalize, as soon as possible, a constructive programme of work on a case-by-case basis for the Non-Self-Governing Territories to facilitate the implementation of the mandate of the Special Committee and the relevant resolutions on decolonization.
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.109/2023/L.6). By its terms, the Assembly would once again urge the administering Powers concerned to take effective measures to safeguard and guarantee the inalienable right of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to their natural resources and to establish and maintain control over the future development of those 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.109/2023/L.9). By its terms, the 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.
In addition, the Special Committee approved resolutions on the questions of American Samoa (document A/AC.109/2023/L.10), Anguilla (document A/AC.109/2023/L.11), Bermuda (document A/AC.109/2023/L.12), the British Virgin Islands (document A/AC.109/2023/L.14), the Cayman Islands (document A/AC.109/2023/L.15), French Polynesia (document A/AC.109/2023/L.24), Guam (document A/AC.109/2023/L.16), Monserrat (document A/AC.109/2023/L.17), New Caledonia (document A/AC.109/2023/L.22), Pitcairn Islands (document A/AC.109/2023/L.18), Saint Helena (document A/AC.109/2023/L.19), Tokelau (document A/AC.109/2023/L.23), Turks and Caicos (document A/AC.109/2023/L.20) and the United States Virgin Islands (document A/AC.109/2023/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, as well as the responsibility of their administering Powers to promote the economic and social development and to preserve the cultural identity of the Territories.
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 highlighted updates made to the texts in consultation with the Secretariat and thanked the administering Powers for their positive engagement in that regard. Indonesia’s representative, speaking in explanation of position after action on the text on Tokelau, thanked the co-sponsors for their efforts to update the draft text to reflect new developments and their exemplary engagement with the administering Power New Zealand.
In other business, the Special Committee approved the draft conclusions and recommendations of its Pacific regional seminar, held from 24 to 26 May 2023 in Bali, Indonesia, contained in conference room paper A/AC.109/2023/CRP.1, and the draft procedural report of the Pacific regional seminar (document A/AC.109/2023/CRP.2) It also decided to include those materials in an annex to the final report to the seventy-eighth session of the General Assembly.
The representative of Venezuela then took the floor to present his country’s offer to host the 2024 regional seminar in May 2024 in Caracas. It was decided that the Committee would finalize the details of the 2024 seminar following the organizational meeting in February 2024.
In closing, Special Committee Chair Menissa Rambally (Saint Lucia) recommended that the Committee authorize the Rapporteur to prepare the report on the Committee’s work at its 2023 session for submission to the Assembly’s seventy-eighth session. She thanked the Committee for its constructive engagement, Indonesia for its successful execution of the 2023 seminar and all those who supported the Committee’s work.