05 August 2012

U.N. Council Approves Support to Non Self-Governing Territories

26 July 2012
Economic and Social Council

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
Economic and Social Council
2012 Substantive Session
46th & 47th Meetings (AM & PM)


Adopts by Recorded Votes Text on:
United Nations Support to Non-Self-Governing Territories


Turning to the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the Council had before it a resolution on support to Non-Self-Governing Territories by the specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations (document E/2012/L.22). 

Before action, Italy’s representative said his delegation was not in a position to accept the text. “We were expecting that this was not going to be approved by consensus”. 

The United States delegate requested a recorded vote.

By a vote of 32 in favour to none against, with 18 abstentions, the Council adopted the resolution.  By its terms, the Council recommended that all States intensify their efforts within the United Nations specialized agencies and organizations to ensure the full implementation of the Declaration.  The specialized agencies were requested to review conditions in each Non-Self-Governing Territory so that they could take measures to speed economic and social progress.

Speaking after the vote, Ecuador’s representative thanked delegations that had voted in favour of the resolution.

Argentina’s delegate said the text must be implemented in line with the decisions and resolutions of the General Assembly and the Special Committee on Decolonization.   Argentina reserved its position on the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) work with the 16 non-autonomous territories relating to the protection of the coastal environment, subject to additional information Argentina had requested from the FAO.

The representative of the United States noted that the resolution was virtually identical to those considered by the Council in recent years.  She had abstained in the vote, despite agreeing in principle that United Nations agencies, funds and programmes could provide support to Territories, so long as administering Powers allowed it.  The administering Power was to decide the participation of Territories in the United Nations.  The United States Federal Government had the sole responsibility for United States foreign relations.  She was concerned that the language of the text infringed on internal constitutional arrangements and thus could not support the resolution.

The resolution also urged those United Nations agencies and organizations that had not yet done so to provide assistance to the Territories as soon as possible. For their part, the administering Powers were requested to facilitate the participation of appointed and elected representatives of those Territories in relevant meetings of the United Nations specialized agencies and organizations.