Non-Self-Governing Territories Must Have Resources, Support to Advance Sustainable Development Goals, Secretary-General Tells Decolonization Seminar

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the opening of the 2023 Pacific Regional Seminar on Decolonization, in Bali, Indonesia, today:

It is a pleasure to greet all participants of the 2023 regional seminar of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization.  I thank the Government and people of Indonesia for hosting this important event.  And I commend your focus this year on advancing the Sustainable Development Goals in the Non-Self-Governing Territories.

Halfway to the deadline for the 2030 Agenda, we are leaving more than half the world behind.  Progress has stalled — and in some cases even reversed.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the path to peace and prosperity for all on a healthy planet.  No country can afford to see them fail.  But for many Non-Self-Governing Territories that are small islands on the frontlines of the climate emergency, the stakes are existential.

As a global community, we must ensure the Territories have the resources and support you need to advance the SDGs, build resilience, and invest in your future.  Today, 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories remain under the purview of the Special Committee.  Our shared goal is to give greater priority to the decolonization agenda and spur accelerated action. 

This process must be guided by the aspirations and needs of the Territories on a case-by-case basis.  I am grateful to the Committee for your unwavering commitment to the complete elimination of colonialism.

And I count on you to generate new ideas and open new pathways for stronger cooperation between the Territories, administering Powers and other stakeholders, in accordance with relevant resolutions.  Together, we can turn the tide and kickstart a new drive for SDG achievement in the Territories and beyond.

I wish you a successful meeting.

For information media. Not an official record.