The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization — also known as the C24 — has decided to hold its Pacific Regional Seminar in the Ecuadorian capital Quito, from 30 May to 1 June this year, to review progress in the United Nations decolonization process.
The Seminar will seek to assess the past decade and focus on goals and expected accomplishments in decolonization over the coming years within the framework of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2011-2020), declared by the General Assembly in December 2010. The discussions will focus on the dynamics and possible action concerning the 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories, as well as United Nations system assistance. The Seminar’s conclusions and recommendations will then be considered at the Committee’s substantive session in June and transmitted to the General Assembly.
Oscar León González, Deputy Permanent Representative of Cuba, standing in for Committee Chairman Diego Morejón Pazmino (Ecuador), said that, as in the past, the Committee would also celebrate the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples’ of the Non-Self-Governing Territories at that Seminar. Cuba is one of the Committee’s two Vice-Chairpersons.
The Seminar’s participants will include a formal delegation of the Committee, United Nations Member States, representatives of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, the nations administering them, as well as experts from civil society and non-governmental organizations.
With the question of the seminar venue now settled, the Secretariat will be able to proceed expeditiously with the logistical preparations for that Seminar, in close consultation with the Committee’s Bureau and the Ecuadorian Government, Mr. González said.
The Committee agreed that the composition of its 8-member delegation to the seminar will include members representing the four regional groups — the African Group and the Asia-Pacific Group, both of which were still consulting with regard to their respective nominations; the Eastern European Group, represented by the Russian Federation, as the only member in that group; and Nicaragua, nominated by the Group of the Latin American and Caribbean States.
The members of the Committee are Antigua & Barbuda, Bolivia, Chile, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Mali, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Syrian Arab Republic, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania and Venezuela.
At present, 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories remain to be decolonized, home to nearly 2 million people. Those territories are American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guam, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands and Western Sahara.