Ban urges joint efforts to complete decolonization process

13 May 2009

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the administering Powers, Non-Self-Governing Territories and the United Nations body tackling decolonization to continue working together to accelerate the process of eradicating colonialism.

In a message to the Caribbean Regional Seminar on Decolonization, which began yesterday in St. Kitts and Nevis, Mr. Ban said that progress in this area will require close cooperation between all three actors.

The three-day gathering is organized by 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 Special Committee of 24 on Decolonization.

Mr. Ban, in a message delivered by Michael M. Streitz of the Decolonization Unit in the UN Department of Political Affairs, noted that the right to self-determination must be taken into proper account in exploring how to accelerate the decolonization process for the remaining 16 Territories under the Committee’s purview.

In addition to close cooperation between the Territories, the administering Powers and the Special Committee, he stressed the need to keep the interests of the peoples of the Territories at the heart of all efforts.

The Secretary-General said he was counting on the administering Powers in particular to discharge their obligations in a manner that promotes the well-being of the inhabitants of the territories within their responsibility.

The UN system, he added, will continue to offer assistance to the Non-Self-Governing Territories as appropriate, in areas such as economic and social development, environmental sustainability, healthcare and good governance.

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UN must revitalize commitment to ‘unfinished’ decolonization efforts – Ban

With 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories still remaining, the United Nations must step up its decolonization efforts, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, calling for greater cooperation between these areas and administering countries.