Decolonization Cuts

6 Oct

The United Nations is currently considering a 40% cut in the budget affecting the decolonisation process. The UN’s Fifth Committee has proposed the measure in a new document “Proposed programme budget for the 2012-2013 biennium”

The effect of the proposed cuts was revealed to the UN’s Fourth Committee, which carries the responsibility of the decolonisation process, by Dr. Carlyle Corbin. “With most of the important work still to be undertaken, along with any new initiatives, it is of great concern that the present Third International Decade has begun with the recommendation to reduce the resources devoted to the decolonization process, rather than to enhance them,” he stated.

“It is clear that such a reduction, from five to three U.N. posts devoted to decolonization, is inconsistent with concerns consistently expressed by many (U.N.) member states for the already insufficient level of  human and financial resources presently available to complete the decolonization process and this is counter to the ongoing strengthening of the U.N. Department of Political Affairs (DPA) ordered by the General Assembly.”

Indicating the remaining 16 Non-Self Governing Territories on the Decolonisation List, Dr. Corbin said that largely due to the dearth of U.N. support, “the process appears at a stalemate (with) most member states, particularly of the Global South, continuing to express welcome support for the principles of self-determination, decolonization and human rights.”

However, in a reference to the absence of an Administering Power on the Special Committee, he noted, ” .. the main Administering Powers continue to announce, year after year, that the territories under their administration have somehow already arrived at self-government, yet these Administering Powers do not openly engage the international community to justify such claim, preferring to absent themselves from the debate.”

The last ‘colony’ on the Decolonisation List to actually achieve independence was East Timor and the United Kingdom, amongst others, has been questioning the value of the Special Committee’s work


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