31 March 2011

UN Decolonisation Seminar Set for Cayman Islands 24-26 May


United Nations Press Release
Special Committee on Decolonization
2nd Meeting (AM)

The General Assembly’s Special Committee on Decolonization decided today to hold its Caribbean regional seminar on implementation of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2011-2020) in Cape Town (sic), Cayman Islands, from 24 to 26 May.

The Committee... also authorized its Chair, Francisco Carrion-Mena (Ecuador), to finalize the composition of the official delegation, as well as the list of experts and non-governmental organizations that will be invited to attend.

Mr. Carrion-Mena told Member States that the official delegation would comprise the Bureau and one Special Committee member from each regional group: Africa; Asia; Latin America and the Caribbean; and Eastern Europe. As such, it would consist of eight representatives, he said, adding that the United Nations would bear the cost of the delegation’s travel. Owing to the shortage of time, he requested that Committee members entrust him with the mandate to complete the list of the formal delegation following informal consultations among the regional groups. He would, he said, duly inform the Committee of the final list.

As in previous years, the Bureau planned to invite three experts and three representatives of non-governmental organizations to speak at the Seminar, all six of whom would be funded by the United Nations. The list of proposed participants would be reviewed by the Bureau and circulated in short order to all Committee members under separate cover.

Mr. Carrion-Mena said that he would request, through the Secretariat, those Committee members who wished to submit additional names for the list of experts to do so. “I think it’s important to have a greater participation,” he stressed, adding that “we shouldn’t just use a list we already have”.

He also informed Committee members that, in determining the venue, a number of factors were considered, including the political situation and logistics of several countries in the Caribbean. Following a request from Cuba, information and statistical data on the Territories had been provided on the Special Committee’s web page. In the end, however, the Committee had followed through with its intention to hold the meeting in the Cayman Islands.

He further noted that all elected and appointed officials of the Non-Self-Governing Territories would be invited, while invitations would also be extended to other Member States, administering Powers, specialized United Nations agencies and some regional organizations.

(For coverage on the last UN Decolonisation Seminar, see: Intensification of Decolonisation Process Discussed at the United Nations )

Following those announcements, the Special Committee also approved the guidelines and rules of procedures, including the seminar’s agenda (document A/AC.109/2011/18), and endorsed English as the seminar’s official language. As in the past, the Special Committee will celebrate the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories at the seminar.

After a suggestion by the representative of Saint Lucia, the Committee decided to seek proposals for the themes of the Third Decade, which was declared by the General Assembly at its sixty-fifth session, prior to the seminar to facilitate discussion.

Before closing the meeting, Mr. Carrion-Mena, who was elected Chair at the previous meeting of the Special Committee, paid particular tribute to the outgoing Chair Donatus Keith St. Aimée ( Saint Lucia), as well as the work conducted under his helm. “I hope I can keep up the same pace,” he said, underscoring his commitment to the milestones that had already been set.

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