Monday, April 18, 2005

Gibraltar set to attend UN Decolonisation Seminar

Gibraltar is considering attending the UN decolonisation seminar next month ahead of its appearance before the UN Committee of 24 in June.

The UN is hosting a seminar in St Vincent in mid May.

At the opening of the C24 session in February UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette aid that the decolonisation process, which was enormously influential in determining the political shape of the world and the membership of the United Nations, required further exploration of ways to accelerate the self-governing status of the 16 remaining Territories.

Ms. Fréchette reminded the Special Committee, formally known as the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, that the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2001 to 2010), had called on the United Nations to ensure that the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories were kept fully aware of the political status options available to them, namely free association, integration with another State or independence.

The Decade’s midterm review offered the Special Committee and the administering Powers several opportunities, including revitalised dialogue aimed at formulating strategies for cooperation and stepped up efforts to inform the Territories’ peoples
of their right to determine their own future freely, she said.

Julian Hunte of Saint Lucia took his seat as Committee Chairman for 2005, following elections. He said that decolonisation issues “have been with us for far too long”.

Without implementation by Member States of United Nations’ resolutions and decisions in that regard, “we will continue in a never-ending spiral of inaction, to return the following year to begin again, without regard for whether the recommen-dations were carried out the year before”, he said.

He would keep uppermost in his mind that self-determination meant the ability of a people to determine their own future and to govern themselves without external interference.


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