16 June 2016

Global decolonisation expert provides recommendations to 2016 United Nations Seminar in Managua, Nicaragua

Summary of Recommendations

Carlyle Corbin
International Advisor on Governance

- The international community should seek to enable the peoples of the Non Self-Governing Territories (NSGTs) to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination, which is a fundamental human right, and to decide their future political status with complete knowledge and awareness of the full range of legitimate political status options available to them, including independence. In that context, particular emphasis should be placed on the dissemination of information to the NSGTs on the functioning of contemporary models of full political equality, 

- The Electoral Affairs Division of the Department of Political Affairs, in consultation with the Special Committee and other relevant United Nations bodies, the territorial governments, and indigenous experts, should develop adequate and unbiased political education programmes for the NSGTs in order to heighten the awareness among the people of the territories of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence in conformity with the legitimate political status options consistent with relevant resolutions of the United Nations. In this connection, these programmes should precede a genuine act of self-determination which should be exercised in each territory, conducted by or under observation of the United Nations not later than 31 December 2020, in accordance with principles contained in the Decolonisation Declaration and all relevant resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly including the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, 

- The United Nations Department of Public Information should actively disseminate information to the territories on the international decolonisation process in conformity with relevant political education programmes developed by the United Nations (earlier cited), pursuant to General Assembly decolonisation resolutions; and should utilise civil society institutions, United Nations Information Centres, tertiary institutions in the territories, media outlets, government information services, as well as indigenous decolonisation experts from the NSGTs, in this dissemination process, 

- The Special Committee should operationalise collaboration with the specialised agencies and other organisations of the United Nations (U.N.); and with the relevant human rights mechanisms such as the Human Rights Council, the Human Rights Committee, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, et al; to implement those provisions of the Plan of Implementation of the Decolonisation Mandate (A/60/853–E/2006/75) which couple the actions called for in decolonisation resolutions with the relevant implementing bodies of the U.N. system in compliance with General Assembly and Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) mandates on assistance to the non self-governing territories. 

- The Special Committee should implement the relevant provision of the Plan of Implementation of the Decolonisation Mandate, consistent with the special mechanisms employed by the Human Rights Council, through the appointment of an Independent Expert/Special Rapporteur specific to the small island territories not under sovereignty dispute, for the period remaining in the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (IDEC) in order to carry out the unimplemented actions contained in the plan of action of the first, second and third IDECs, and the Plan of Implementation of the Decolonisation Mandate, in particular: 

       1) Independent analyses on the progress and extent of the achievement towards self-government in each of the small island non self-governing territories (NSGTs), 

        2) An analysis on the implementation of the decolonisation resolutions since the first International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism to identify obstacles to their fulfillment, 

        3) Periodic briefings through an interactive format for the member States of the Special Committee and other interested delegations on developments in the NSGTs affecting their self-determination process. 

- The Special Committee should commission independent self-government assessments of each of the small island territories not subject to sovereignty dispute, in the Caribbean and Pacific regions, through the use of the diagnostic tool of Self-Governance Indicators (SGIs) to identify the self-governance deficiencies in the existing colonial arrangements, and to make appropriate recommendations to bring the territories to a full measure of self-government, 

- The Special Committee should develop formal collaboration with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in order to conduct analyses on the economic and social situation of the small island NSGTs which are associate members of these two regional economic commissions. 

- The Special Committee should modify its constructive ten point programme of work on a case by case basis for each small island NSGT by utilising the independent analyses of each territory (earlier cited) as the operative document for initiation of substantive discussions with the representatives of the territories, and those administering Powers which choose to engage the process leading to a legitimate act of self-determination, 

- The Independent Expert/Special Rapporteur should visit each of the small island Non Self-Governing Territories as early as possible before the end of the Decade, and report thereon to the Special Committee and the Fourth Committee on the situation in the territory, 

- The Secretary-General should ensure that the budget submitted for consideration by member States to fund the U.N. offices servicing the decolonisation agenda items, including the biennial programme plans and strategic frameworks, provide the necessary resources to implement the actions called for in decolonisation resolutions, the plan of action of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, and other relevant decisions.

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