09 October 2015

Argentina Enjoys Widespread Support over Question of Falklands (Malvinas)

Seventieth Session,
2nd Meeting (PM)

Colonial Behaviour, Thinking still ‘Rampant’ Despite ‘Historic Successes’, ‘Untiring Efforts’ of United Nations, Meeting Told

While the United Nations decolonization process had achieved “historic successes”, colonial thinking and behaviour were still “rampant”, with 17 lands remaining on the Organization’s United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) heard today, as it opened its annual debate on the issue.

“It is due to the untiring efforts of the United Nations […] that the vast majority of the world’s population today is no longer under colonial rule,” Committee Chair Brian Bowler, said, adding that decolonization had been one of the most defining issues of the latter part of the twentieth century and the early part of the twenty-first.

In particular, those successes were due to the “unstinting” efforts 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 (also known as the Special Committee on Decolonization), founded in 1961, he said. It had carried out its mandate in a number of ways, including by sending visiting missions to Non-Self-Governing Territories on its list and the hearing of petitioners. “We are all aware that our task is not yet complete,” he said. “We must continue our common endeavour in the spirit of cooperation among all parties involved to complete the decolonization process.”


U.N. General Assembly Committee begins session on Decolonisation

Fourth Committee to Begin New Session by Considering Decolonization Issues, as It Approves Programme of Work

Seventieth Session,
1st Meeting (PM)

During Organizational Meeting, Chair Welcomes Other Members of Bureau
The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), in an organizational meeting today, approved its work programme for the new session, which covers topics ranging from international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space to the situations in the 17 territories remaining on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

At the meeting’s outset, Committee Chair Brian G. Bowler (Malawi) welcomed Vice-Chairs Abdulaziz Aljarralah (Kuwait), Danijel Medan (Croatia) and Jose Eduardo Proaño (Ecuador). Clotilde Ferry (Monaco) will serve as Rapporteur.

According to its work programme (documents A/C.4/70/1 and A/C.4/70/L.1), the Committee will first consider items relating to decolonization during a general debate to be held from 8 to 15 October. The Chair informed members that he had received an aide-mémoire containing 100 requests for hearings on the questions of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas)[1], French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Guam, New Caledonia and Western Sahara, which had been circulated to delegations by e-mail. The Chief Minister of Gibraltar, the President of New Caledonia and the Governor of Guam, or their representatives, would address the Committee under agenda item 63, Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, he added.

From 19 to 22 October, the Committee will hold four meetings on international cooperation in the peaceful use of outer space. As in previous sessions, members agreed to establish a working group on outer space, to be chaired by the delegation of Algeria.

The Committee will hold a general debate on questions relating to information from 27 to 29 October.

Beginning on 30 October, it will hold a four-day comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects. It will review special political missions on 6 November.

On topics relating to the Middle East, the Committee will consider aspects of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on 9 and 10 November. From 11 to 13 November, it will take up the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.

With its overall work expected to conclude by 17 November, the Fourth Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Thursday, 8 October, to begin its consideration of issues relating to decolonization.


[1]* A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).