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Current members of the UN Special Committee on Decolonization
  Members in 2009
  Observers in 2009

The Special Committee on Decolonization (its full official title being 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 known as the U.N. Special Committee of the 24 on Decolonization, the Committee of 24, or simply, the Decolonization Committee) was created in 1961 by the General Assembly of the United Nations with the purpose of monitoring implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and to make recommendations on its application.[1] The committee is also a successor to the former Committee on Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories, with which it was merged in 1963. The full official name of the Special Committee is "Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples".

Hoping to speed the progress of decolonization, the General Assembly had adopted in 1960 the Resolution 1514, also known as the "Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples" or simply "Declaration on Decolonization". It stated that all people have a right to self-determination and proclaimed that colonialism should be brought to a speedy and unconditional end.[2]

Subsequently, in 1990, the General Assembly proclaimed 1990–2000 as the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism and adopted a concrete Plan of Action to further its principles and relevant International Law on that matter. In 2001, the United Nations proceeded to proclaim the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.[3] In 2011, the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism was declared.

In 1945, the year the United Nations was established, 750 million people – almost a third of the world's population – lived in territories that were non-self-governing, dependent on colonial Powers. Today, fewer than 2 million people live in such territories.[4]

As of 2016, several of the territories on the list have rejected independence (or any other change of status) through referendums, such as Gibraltar in 2002[5] and the Falkland Islands in 2013.[6] Likewise in 2013 the elected Assembly of French Polynesia objected to that territory's inclusion on the list.[7] There is also controversy surrounding the viability of several of the listed territories as independent nations, such as Pitcairn, which had a population estimated at just 57 in 2015.[8]

Contents

Listed non-self-governing territoriesEdit

As of 2016, there are 17 territories listed on the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories:

Territory
Capital Currency Language Administering state Continent Notes
  American Samoa [note 1] Pago Pago United States dollar English   United States Oceania [9][note 2]
  Anguilla The Valley East Caribbean dollar English   United Kingdom Americas [10][11][note 3]
  Bermuda Hamilton Bermudian dollar English   United Kingdom Americas [11][12]
  British Virgin Islands Road Town United States dollar [note 4] English   United Kingdom Americas [11][13]
  Cayman Islands George Town [note 5] Cayman Islands dollar English   United Kingdom Americas [11][14]
  Falkland Islands Stanley Falkland Pound English   United Kingdom Americas [11][15] [note 6]
  French Polynesia [note 7] Papeete CFP franc French   France Oceania [16][17]
  Gibraltar Gibraltar Gibraltar pound English   United Kingdom Europe
  Guam Agaña United States dollar English   United States Oceania
  Montserrat Plymouth East Caribbean dollar English   United Kingdom Americas
  New Caledonia Nouméa CFP franc French   France Oceania
  Pitcairn [note 8] Adamstown New Zealand dollar English   United Kingdom Oceania [11][18]
  Saint Helena Jamestown Saint Helena pound English   United Kingdom Africa [11][19]
  Tokelau Fakaofo New Zealand dollar English   New Zealand Oceania
  Turks and Caicos Islands Cockburn Town United States dollar English   United Kingdom Americas
  United States Virgin Islands Charlotte Amalie United States dollar English   United States Americas
  Western Sahara [note 9] El Aaiún Sahrawi peseta Arabic Disputed Africa [note 10]

MembershipEdit

The 17-member Special Committee was expanded to 24 members in 1962, and the size of its membership has varied since.[20]

As of March 2014, the members are as follows:[21]

  Antigua and Barbuda   Ethiopia   Papua New Guinea   Tanzania
  Bolivia   Fiji   Russian Federation   Venezuela
  Chile   Grenada   Saint Kitts and Nevis
  China   India   Saint Lucia
  Congo   Indonesia   Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  Côte d'Ivoire   Iran   Sierra Leone
  Cuba   Iraq   Syria
  Dominica   Mali   East Timor
  Ecuador   Nicaragua   Tunisia

The Special Committee also has 14 observers.[22]

Recommendation on Puerto RicoEdit

The Special Committee on Decolonization refers to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (a territory of the United States) as a nation in its reports, because, internationally, the people of Puerto Rico are often considered to be a Caribbean nation with their own national identity.[23][24][25] Most recently, in a June 2016 report, the Special Committee called for the United States to expedite the process to allow self-determination in Puerto Rico. More specifically, the group called on the United States to expedite a process that would allow the people of Puerto Rico to exercise fully their right to self-determination and independence. ... [and] allow the Puerto Rican people to take decisions in a sovereign manner and to address their urgent economic and social needs, including unemployment, marginalization, insolvency and poverty".[26]

Officers and bureau membersEdit

The Chair of the Special Committee for 2016 is Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) . The two Vice Chairs are Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez (Cuba) and Vandi Chidi Minah (Sierra Leone). The Rapporteur is Bashar Ja'afari of Syria. The Bureau of the Committee comprises these officers.[27]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Also known in the form conventional as Territory of American Samoa.
  2. ^ Dependency status: unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US; administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior.
  3. ^ Overseas territory of the United Kingdom.
  4. ^ The economy is closely tied to the larger and more populous US Virgin Islands to the west; the US dollar is the legal currency.
  5. ^ Also known as on Grand Cayman.
  6. ^ The Falkland Islands include the two main islands of East and West Falkland and about 200 small islands.
  7. ^ Also known as Overseas Lands of French Polynesia.
  8. ^ Also known as Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno Islands.
  9. ^ Territory under de facto Moroccan control. Claimed by SADR.
  10. ^ The legal status the territory and the issue of sovereignty unresolved; territory contested by Morocco and Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro), which in February 1976 formally proclaimed a government-in-exile, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), based out of refugee camps near Tindouf, Algeria, led by President Mohamed Abdelaziz.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation – Official Website". United Nations. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  2. ^ "History of U.N. Decolonisation Committee – Official U.N. Website". United Nations. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  3. ^ "Historical Documents of the U.N. Decolonisation Committee – Official U.N. Website and Document Archive". United Nations. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  4. ^ "The United Nations and Decolonization". United Nations. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  5. ^ Daly, Emma (2002-11-08). "Gibraltar Rejects Power-Sharing Between Britain and Spain". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-01-03. 
  6. ^ Defence correspondent, Caroline Wyatt; News, BBC. "Falklands referendum: Voters choose to remain UK territory". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-01-03. 
  7. ^ "Tahiti assembly votes against UN decolonisation bid", Radio New Zealand International, 17 May 2013
  8. ^ "Pitcairn: Islands & Settlement - Population Statistics in Maps and Charts". www.citypopulation.de. Retrieved 2016-01-03. 
  9. ^ American Samoa at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  10. ^ Anguilla at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g British Overseas Territories
  12. ^ Bermuda at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  13. ^ British Virgin Islands at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  14. ^ Cayman Islands at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  15. ^ Falkland Islands at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  16. ^ French Polynesia at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  17. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 68 Resolution 93. A/RES/68/93 Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  18. ^ Pitcairn at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  19. ^ Saint Helena at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  20. ^ "United Nations". Unhchr.ch. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  21. ^ "Special Committee on Decolonization Opens Session, with Deputy Secretary-General Urging Progress on Pending Issues". United Nations. 20 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-06. 
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ United Nations. General Assembly. Special Committee on the Situation With Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (1971). Report of the Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. 23. United Nations Publications. pp. 10–11. ISBN 978-92-1-810211-9. 
  24. ^ XIV Ministerial Conference of the Movement of Non-Aligned Nations. Durban, South Africa, 2004. See pages 14–15.
  25. ^ United Nations. General Assembly. Special Committee on the Situation With Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (1971). Report of the Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. 23. United Nations Publications. pp. 10–11. ISBN 978-92-1-810211-9. 
  26. ^ "Special Committee on Decolonization Approves Text Calling upon United States Government to Expedite Self-Determination Process for Puerto Rico". United Nations. UN. June 20, 2016. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
  27. ^ http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2014/gacol3259.doc.htm; http://www.un.org/Depts/dpi/decolonization/special_committee_bureau.htm

External linksEdit