31 May 2016

UN Secretary-General calls for concrete actions in advancing the decolonisation agenda

31 MAY 2016

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Rie Kadota, Senior Political Affairs Officer, Decolonization Unit, Department of Political Affairs, to the Pacific Regional Seminar on Decolonization, in Managua today:

I am pleased to send my greetings to all who have gathered in Managua for the 2016 Pacific Regional Seminar on Decolonization, in the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories. I thank the Government and the people of Nicaragua for their generous hospitality in hosting this important Seminar for the second time in two years.

This Managua Seminar also marks the twenty-fifth Regional Seminar of the Special Committee since 1990. I welcome this year’s focus on the Pacific region under the theme of “Commitments and Actions for Decolonization in the Non-Self-Governing Territories”, within the framework of the third Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.

According to the Charter of the United Nations and relevant General Assembly resolutions, a full measure of self-government can be achieved through independence, integration or free association with another State. The choice should be the result of the freely expressed will and desire of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories. The Special Committee on Decolonization supports this decolonization process. I also count on the administering Powers to continue to fulfil the obligation to promote the well-being of the peoples under their administration.

This annual Regional Seminar provides a key opportunity for the Special Committee to hear directly from representatives of Non-Self-Governing Territories about their unique situations and problems. It also facilitates informal exchanges between administering Powers, other stakeholders, Non-Self-Governing Territories, the Special Committee, experts, civil society organizations, regional organizations and others.

Let us seize this opportunity to identify concrete actions to advance the decolonization agenda. I wish you success in your deliberations. Thank you.

MERCOSUR condemns UK attempts to usurp Malvinas petroleum resources


The Presidents of the MERCOSUR States parties and associated States, being aware of the presence of a semi-submersible platform on the Argentine continental shelf that is carrying out hydrocarbon exploration activities that are unauthorized by the Argentine Republic, 

Firmly reject this new unilateral action by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which violates international law and Argentine domestic legislation; 

Recall the ongoing mandate set forth in United Nations General Assembly resolution 31/49, which calls upon both parties in the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas to refrain from taking decisions that would imply introducing unilateral modifications in the situation, as such decisions are in no way conducive to the attainment of a definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute, a solution which the international community has called for repeatedly; 

Reaffirm, in particular, the special communiqué on hydrocarbon exploration on the continental shelf, which was approved by the Heads of State and Government at the Latin American and Caribbean Unity Summit held in Cancún, Mexico, on 23 February 2010, and the commitments made with respect to illegal hydrocarbon and/or mining activities on the Argentine continental shelf, including the sharing of information, and the prevention of the entry into their ports of vessels flying the illegal flag of the Malvinas Islands; 

Ratify the statements of other regional and bi-regional organizations and forums that have taken a position on this question, most recently the Group of 77 and China, the Latin American Energy Organization and the Latin American Integration Association, which expressed the view that the operations carried out by companies not authorized by the Argentine Government in the Malvinas Islands area relating to the exploration for natural resources, especially hydrocarbon resources, were seriously detrimental to the sovereign rights of the Argentine Republic over its continental shelf. Those forums have also recognized the right of the Argentine Republic to take administrative and legal action, with full respect for international law and relevant resolutions, against the unauthorized hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities that the United Kingdom is carrying out in the aforementioned area; 

Take note of the legal action taken by the Argentine Republic against companies involved in unauthorized hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities on the Argentine continental shelf. Asunción, 21 December 2015.