22 June 2016

Expert Panel to discuss contemporary decolonisation process at UN

Panel Discussion held in the context of the International Week of Solidarity with Peoples of the Non Self-Governing Territories  


This conference will be held in the framework of the International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing territories, with the presence and participation of a group of academics and diplomats; it is aimed at explaining the audience different opinions and views on the different aspects of the decolonization process.

The general idea of the Conference is to provide a basis for discussion on decolonization, from a historical perspective with the liberation struggle fought by countries like Angola during the second half of the XX century, in order to show how emancipation processes during the XIX and XX centuries evolved to be inherited by the United Nations through the Special Committee on Decolonization, replacing the violent struggle with diplomatic efforts in the context of multilateralism.

The Conference will then present an overview of the decolonization process and the relevance of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples as an instrument of political authority to encourage the aspirations of the peoples that led to the creation of new nations in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific regions.
Furthermore, the Conference will focus on reviewing, from an academic perspective, different cases of the decolonization process such as the Question of Western Sahara and the Question of Puerto Rico, to raise awareness on fundamental aspects of those processes and their connection to the historical moment and evolution, as well as events, challenges, and related actors.

In the case of Western Sahara, the debate will be connected to the historical view and opinions on the developments of the controversy and roles of actors to the conflict, with a democratic and alternative approach.

With regards to Puerto Rico, the discussion will be mainly based on the current economic and political situation that determines points of agreement between the different forces and options around the political status of Puerto Rico, favoring the decolonization of the territory.


·       Ambassador Ismael Abraão Gaspar Martins, Permanent Representative of Angola

·       Dr. Carlyle Corbin, International Advisor on Governance & Multilateral Diplomacy

·       Dr. Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies, Coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco.

·       Dr. José Luis Morín, Professor in the Latin American and Latino Studies, Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY).

Conference Room 2, United Nations Headquarters

Wednesday 22 June 2016; from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm


Conference format:
·       Speaker intervention: 15 minutes each
·       Questions and answers session


The purpose of the Conference is to inform the audience about the different aspects of decolonization, to provide academic points of view on the issue and to raise awareness and promote debate on decolonization; the Conference does not intend to establish the position of the Committee on Decolonization about the subjects that will be raised there, nor is the intention to present the academic opinions of the experts and the words of the diplomatic officer as the point of view of the Committee; the Committee would offer these views as food for thought but it will not be an endorsement of any kind to any point of view mentioned during the Conference.