UNITED NATIONS– Reiterating its conviction of the need for the eradication of colonialism, the United Nations Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) has approved decolonization for a number of Caribbean territories.
In concluding its annual consideration of the question of decolonization on Monday, the Committee forwarded 11 draft resolutions to the General Assembly, six of them approved without a vote.
The Committee approved by consensus its omnibus draft resolution on questions of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands.
It also approved by consensus resolution on American Samoa, Guam, Pitcairn and Saint Helena.
The text would have the General Assembly reaffirm that, in the process of decolonization, “there was no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which is also a fundamental human right, as recognized under the relevant human rights conventions.”
In a series of provisions concerning the administering Powers of the 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories on the United Nations list, the Assembly would “reaffirm those Governments’ responsibility to promote the Territories’ economic and social development and take all measures necessary to protect their environments.”
The terms of draft resolution VII, on questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands, would have the General Assembly “reaffirm that it is ultimately for the peoples of the Territories themselves to determine freely their future political status.”
It would also have the Assembly urge Member States to “contribute to the efforts of the United Nations to usher in a world free of colonialism.”
But speaking after passage of the draft, the representative of the United Kingdom, called the approach of the Decolonization Committee “outdated”, claiming that it failed to take into account “How the relationship between the United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories had modernized.”
He said the language in sections of the resolution would be “unacceptable” to the United Kingdom.