14 June 2013

United Nations Study Calls for Decolonisation Expert Group

A United Nations study on decolonisation in the Pacific has called for the convening of an expert group to address decolonisation issues in the Pacific region. 

The expert group recommendation was contained in the report entitled "Study on decolonisation in the Pacific region" presented to the Twelfth Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) which met at United Nations headquarters in New York from 22-31 May 2013. The report was prepared by PFII member Valmaine Toki. According to a United Nations press release following the meeting:

"...the study on decolonization of the Pacific region (document E/C.19/2013/12), noted that the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples was adopted by the General Assembly in 1960 and the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization had been established the following year. The list of Non-Self-Governing Territories was initially prepared in 1946. Of the 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories currently listed for active consideration by the Committee, five were located in the Pacific. 

"Given the detrimental effects of colonization and the doctrine of discovery on indigenous peoples, he said, the text provided case studies highlighting the impetus for the right to self-determination and decolonization among indigenous peoples of the Pacific. It traced the core connections between the Doctrine of Discovery and the colonization process coordinated by countries, churches and trading corporations. It also illustrated the initiatives by indigenous peoples to coordinate decolonization campaigns rooted in international human rights law. 

"The study concluded that it was “undisputed” that colonization had been detrimental to Pacific island nations and that indigenous peoples had a right to self-determination, he said. It also suggested that a relevant United Nations agency should consider convening an expert group meeting on the decolonization of the Pacific to work in conjunction with the Special Committee on Decolonization to assess applications for independence." 

However, the expert group recommendation was not included in the programme of work adopted by the Special Committee at its 2013 session.



Appointment Special Procedure Mandate Holders - 41st Meeting 23rd Regular Session 
Human Rights Council
Agenda Item:1 - Organizational and procedural matters

Nomination and Appointment of mandate holders

Mr. Gustavo Gallón, As Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti

Mr. Suliman Baldo, As Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali