Special Committee on Decolonization Article

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Current members of the UN Special Committee on Decolonization
  Members in 2009
  Observers in 2009

The Special Committee on Decolonization (its full official title being 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 U.N. Special Committee of the 24 on Decolonization, the Committee of 24, or simply, the Decolonization Committee) was created in 1961 by the General Assembly of the United Nations with the purpose of monitoring implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and to make recommendations on its application. [1] The committee is also a successor to the former Committee on Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories, with which it was merged in 1963. The full official name of the Special Committee is "Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples".

Hoping to speed the progress of decolonization, the General Assembly had adopted in 1960 the Resolution 1514, also known as the "Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples" or simply "Declaration on Decolonization". It stated that all people have a right to self-determination and proclaimed that colonialism should be brought to a speedy and unconditional end. [2]

Subsequently, in 1990, the General Assembly proclaimed 1990–2000 as the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism and adopted a concrete Plan of Action to further its principles and relevant International Law on that matter. In 2001, the United Nations proceeded to proclaim the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. [3] In 2011 - the International Year for People of African Descent [4] - the 2011-2020 Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism [5] was declared.

In the time since the UN was established in 1945 around 750 million people – roughly one in three people – lived in non-self-governing territories. This has since reduced to under 2 million people. [6]

As of 2016, several of the territories on the list have rejected independence (or any other change of status) through referendums, such as Gibraltar in 2002 [7] and the Falkland Islands in 2013. [8] Likewise in 2013 the elected Assembly of French Polynesia objected to that territory's inclusion on the list. [9] There is also controversy surrounding the viability of several of the listed territories as independent nations, such as Pitcairn, which had a population estimated at just 57 in 2015. [10]

Listed non-self-governing territories

As of February 2017, there are 17 territories listed on the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories: [11]

Territory
Capital Currency Language Administering state Continent Notes
  American Samoa [note 1] Pago Pago United States dollar English   United States Oceania [12] [note 2]
  Anguilla The Valley East Caribbean dollar English   United Kingdom Americas [13] [14] [note 3]
  Bermuda Hamilton Bermudian dollar English United Kingdom United Kingdom Americas [14] [15]
  British Virgin Islands Road Town United States dollar [note 4] English United Kingdom United Kingdom Americas [14] [16]
  Cayman Islands George Town [note 5] Cayman Islands dollar English United Kingdom United Kingdom Americas [14] [17]
  Falkland Islands Stanley Falkland Pound English United Kingdom United Kingdom Americas [14] [18] [note 6]
  French Polynesia [note 7] Papeete CFP franc French   France Oceania [19] [20]
  Gibraltar Gibraltar Gibraltar pound English United Kingdom United Kingdom Europe
  Guam Hagatña United States dollar English United States United States Oceania
  Montserrat Plymouth East Caribbean dollar English United Kingdom United Kingdom Americas
  New Caledonia Nouméa CFP franc French France France Oceania
  Pitcairn [note 8] Adamstown New Zealand dollar English United Kingdom United Kingdom Oceania [14] [21]
  Saint Helena Jamestown Saint Helena pound English United Kingdom United Kingdom Africa [14] [22]
  Tokelau Fakaofo New Zealand dollar English   New Zealand Oceania
  Turks and Caicos Islands Cockburn Town United States dollar English United Kingdom United Kingdom Americas
  United States Virgin Islands Charlotte Amalie United States dollar English United States United States Americas
  Western Sahara [note 9] El Aaiún Sahrawi peseta Arabic   Morocco/SADR Africa [note 10]

Membership

The 17-member Special Committee was expanded to 24 members in 1962, and the size of its membership has varied since. [23]

As of June 2017, the members are as follows: [24] [25]

  Antigua and Barbuda   Ethiopia   Papua New Guinea   Tanzania
  Bolivia   Fiji   Russian Federation   Venezuela
  Chile   Grenada   Saint Kitts and Nevis
  China   India   Saint Lucia
  Congo   Indonesia   Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  Côte d'Ivoire   Iran   Sierra Leone
  Cuba   Iraq   Syria
  Dominica   Mali   East Timor
  Ecuador   Nicaragua   Tunisia

The Special Committee also has 14 observers. Various members in many instances have blocked the admission and re-admission of their respective territories for decolonization, despite various independence movements within those territories. The membership of Indonesia has hindered the re-admission of West Papua [26] and admission of Minahasa [27] for decolonization, while the membership of China has hindered the admission of Tibet [28], East Turkestan [29], Inner Mongolia [30], Hong Kong [31], Macau [32], Taiwan [33], Ningxia [34], Guangxi, and Manchuria [35] for decolonization. Also, the membership of India has hindered the admission of Kashmir [36] and Sikkim [37] for decolonization, while the membership of Chile has hindered the admission of Mapuche from decolonization. [38] Additionally, the membership of Russia has hindered at least 26 territories from admissions for decolonization. Among these Russian territories are Chukotka, Khanty-Mansi, Nenets, Yamalo-Nenets, Adygea, Altai, Bashkortostan, Buryatia, Chechnya, Chuvashia, Crimea, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Kalmykia, Karachay-Cherkessia, Karelia, Khakassia, Komi, Mari El, Mordovia, North Ossetia-Alania, Sakha (Yakutia), Tatarstan, Tuva, and Udmurtia. [39] [40] Forced ethnic migrations have been conducted by many members of the committee to retain control on certain territories. [41] [42] Various organizations have stated that the committee is 'no longer relevant' as many of its members are colonizers themselves, controlling various territories wanting independence. [43] [44] [45]

Recommendation on Puerto Rico

The Special Committee on Decolonization refers to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (an unincorporated territory of the United States) as a nation in its reports, because, internationally, the people of Puerto Rico are often considered to be a Caribbean nation with their own national identity. [46] [47] [48] Most recently, in a June 2016 report, the Special Committee called for the United States to expedite the process to allow self-determination in Puerto Rico. More specifically, the group called on the United States to expedite a process that would allow the people of Puerto Rico to exercise fully their right to self-determination and independence. ... [and] allow the Puerto Rican people to take decisions in a sovereign manner and to address their urgent economic and social needs, including unemployment, marginalization, insolvency and poverty". [49]

In one of the most referendums on the political status of Puerto Rico held in 2012, only 5.49% of Puerto Ricans voted for independence, while 61.16% voted for statehood and 33.34% preferred free association. Another then-recent referendum was held in 2017 with over 97% voting in favor of statehood over independence, though historically low voter turn-out (23%) has called into question the validity of the poll. Much of the low turn-out has been attributed to a boycott led by the pro-status-quo PPD party. [50]

Officers and bureau members

The Chair of the Special Committee for 2016 is Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela). [51] The two Vice Chairs are Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez (Cuba) and Vandi Chidi Minah (Sierra Leone). The Rapporteur is Bashar Ja'afari of Syria. The Bureau of the Committee comprises these officers. [52] [53] [54]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Also known in the form conventional as Territory of American Samoa.
  2. ^ Dependency status: unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US; administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior.
  3. ^ Overseas territory of the United Kingdom.
  4. ^ The economy is closely tied to the larger and more populous US Virgin Islands to the west; the US dollar is the legal currency.
  5. ^ Also known as on Grand Cayman.
  6. ^ The Falkland Islands include the two main islands of East and West Falkland and about 200 small islands.
  7. ^ Also known as Overseas Lands of French Polynesia.
  8. ^ Also known as Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno Islands.
  9. ^ Territory under de facto Moroccan control. Claimed by SADR.
  10. ^ The legal status the territory and the issue of sovereignty unresolved; territory contested by Morocco and Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro), which in February 1976 formally proclaimed a government-in-exile, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), based out of refugee camps near Tindouf, Algeria, led by President Mohamed Abdelaziz.

References

  1. ^ "the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation – Official Website". United Nations. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  2. ^ "History of U.N. Decolonisation Committee – Official U.N. Website". United Nations. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  3. ^ "Historical Documents of the U.N. Decolonisation Committee – Official U.N. Website and Document Archive". United Nations. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  4. ^ "International Year for People of African Descent 2011". www.un.org. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  5. ^ "The United Nations and Decolonization". www.un.org. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  6. ^ "The United Nations and Decolonization > History". United Nations. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  7. ^ Daly, Emma (2002-11-08). "Gibraltar Rejects Power-Sharing Between Britain and Spain". The New York Times. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  8. ^ Defence correspondent, Caroline Wyatt; News, BBC. "Falklands referendum: Voters choose to remain UK territory". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  9. ^ "Tahiti assembly votes against UN decolonisation bid", Radio New Zealand International, 17 May 2013
  10. ^ "Pitcairn: Islands & Settlement - Population Statistics in Maps and Charts". www.citypopulation.de. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  11. ^ "United Nations Official Document". www.un.org. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  12. ^ American Samoa at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  13. ^ Anguilla at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g British Overseas Territories
  15. ^ Bermuda at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  16. ^ British Virgin Islands at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  17. ^ Cayman Islands at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  18. ^ Falkland Islands at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  19. ^ French Polynesia at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  20. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 68 Resolution 93. A/RES/68/93 Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  21. ^ Pitcairn at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  22. ^ Saint Helena at the CIA World Factbook Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  23. ^ "United Nations". Unhchr.ch. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  24. ^ "Members". United Nations. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  25. ^ "Committee of 24 2017 Session". United Nations. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  26. ^ Doherty, Ben; Lamb, Kate (30 September 2017). "West Papua independence petition is rebuffed at UN". the Guardian. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  27. ^ Netralnews.Com. "Netralnews.com - House Speaker on Minahasa Wishing Independence: Gov't Should Not Stay Silent". Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  28. ^ What is China’s argument on Tibet? freetibet.org, accessed 9 November 2018
  29. ^ "Why is there tension between China and the Uighurs?". 26 September 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2018 – via www.bbc.com.
  30. ^ Diplomat, Sergey Radchenko, The. "The Truth About Mongolia's Independence 70 Years Ago". Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  31. ^ "Do Hong Kongers want independence?". BBC News. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  32. ^ "First Hong Kong, now Macau — China's former Western colonies demand democracy and face crackdowns". Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  33. ^ Editorial, Reuters. "Taiwan, China spar over Taiwan premier's independence remarks". Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  34. ^ "China's hidden Muslims find sense of belief". Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  35. ^ "Manchuria, Manchukuo, Tibet and National Autonomy by William P. Meyers". www.iiipublishing.com. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  36. ^ "BBC NEWS". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  37. ^ Forty-two years after merging, are people in Sikkim happy to be Indian? globaltimes.cn, accessed 9 November 2018
  38. ^ Foerster, Rolf 2001. Sociedad mapuche y sociedad chilena: la deuda histórica. Polis, Revista de la Universidad Bolivariana.
  39. ^ Eurasia, Paul Goble for Window on; network, part of the New East (15 August 2014). "From Siberia to Kaliningrad: the fledgling independence movements gaining traction in Russia". the Guardian. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  40. ^ "Russia's Separatist Movements - Fair Observer". www.fairobserver.com. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  41. ^ "Forced Ethnic Migration Forced Ethnic Migration". Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  42. ^ [1][ dead link]
  43. ^ "Special Committee on Decolonization 'No Longer Relevant' to Overseas Territories of United Kingdom, Fourth Committee Told - Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". www.un.org. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  44. ^ "SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON DECOLONIZATION WOULD URGE SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MAINTAIN ALL FUNCTIONS OF DECOLONIZATION UNIT OF POLITICAL AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT - Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". www.un.org. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  45. ^ Pearson, Jessica Lynne (4 May 2017). "Defending Empire at the United Nations: The Politics of International Colonial Oversight in the Era of Decolonisation". The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. 45 (3): 525–549. doi: 10.1080/03086534.2017.1332133. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  46. ^ United Nations. General Assembly. Special Committee on the Situation With Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (1971). Report 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. 23. United Nations Publications. pp.  10–11. ISBN  978-92-1-810211-9.
  47. ^ XIV Ministerial Conference of the Movement of Non-Aligned Nations. Durban, South Africa, 2004. See pages 14–15. Archived 31 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  48. ^ United Nations. General Assembly. Special Committee on the Situation With Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (1971). Report 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. 23. United Nations Publications. pp.  10–11. ISBN  978-92-1-810211-9.
  49. ^ "Special Committee on Decolonization Approves Text Calling upon United States Government to Expedite Self-Determination Process for Puerto Rico". United Nations. UN. June 20, 2016. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  50. ^ "PDP to boycott status referendum". 20 April 2017.
  51. ^ Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño of Venezuela Chair of Fourth Committee 25 September 2017, un.org, accessed 9 November 2018
  52. ^ http://www.un.org/Depts/dpi/decolonization/special_committee_bureau.htm[ dead link]
  53. ^ Special Committee on Decolonization Opens Session, with Deputy Secretary-General Urging Progress on Pending Issues 20 February 2014, un.org, accessed 9 November 2018
  54. ^ Intensify Action-oriented Dialogue to Boost Momentum for Self-determination, Urges Secretary-General, as Special Committee on Decolonization Begins 2016 Session 25 February 2016, un.org, accessed 9 November 2018

External links