Achieving self-rule for colonized people one of UN’s cardinal goals - Annan

Achieving self-rule for colonized people one of UN’s cardinal goals - Annan

With more than 80 million people now free to exercise their right to self-determination, thanks to United Nations assistance, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said decolonization could truly be considered a success story for the world body.

“Achieving self-government for the peoples of the world has been one of the cardinal goals of the United Nations since inception,” Mr. Annan said in a message to the opening meeting yesterday of the Caribbean regional seminar on decolonization, in The Valley, Anguilla.

Mr. Annan noted there are, however, 16 non-self-governing territories remaining on the UN list and urged those gathered in Anguilla to continue working together to find the appropriate format and timing for the completion of decolonization in each territory.

The UN Special Committee on Decolonization organizes such seminars to provide a forum for the 2 million people living under colonial rule to air their views about the unique problems they face, and to promote direct communication between them, the Committee and the administering powers.

The Anguilla seminar, the first time such a meeting is being held in a territory that does not enjoy self-rule, is being conducted within the framework of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2001- 2010). It will focus on practical steps to complete the decolonization process in the Caribbean and Bermuda.