Special Committee on Decolonization

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

The Special Committee on Decolonization (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 Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism was declared.

In 1945, the year the United Nations was established, 750 million people – almost a third of the world's population – lived in territories that were non-self-governing, dependent on colonial Powers. Today, fewer than 2 million people live in such territories.[4]

Non-self-governing territories[edit]

As of 2013, there still remain 17 territories listed on the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories:

Territory Administering state Continent Capital Notes
 American Samoa  United States Oceania Pago Pago
 Anguilla  United Kingdom Americas The Valley
 Bermuda  United Kingdom Americas Hamilton
 British Virgin Islands  United Kingdom Americas Road Town
 Cayman Islands  United Kingdom Americas George Town
 Falkland Islands  United Kingdom Americas Stanley Claimed by Argentina
 French Polynesia  France Oceania Papeete
 Gibraltar  United Kingdom Europe Gibraltar Claimed by Spain
 Guam  United States Oceania Agaña
 Montserrat  United Kingdom Americas Plymouth
 New Caledonia  France Oceania Nouméa
 Pitcairn  United Kingdom Oceania Adamstown
 Saint Helena  United Kingdom Africa Jamestown
 Tokelau  New Zealand Oceania Fakaofo In 1948, the United Kingdom transferred sovereignty over Tokelau to New Zealand.
 Turks and Caicos Islands  United Kingdom Americas Cockburn Town
 United States Virgin Islands  United States Americas Charlotte Amalie
 Western Sahara  Morocco (de facto) Africa El Aaiún Territory of Spain de jure


The 17-member Special Committee was expanded to 24 members in 1962, and the size of its membership has varied since.[5]

As of June 2010, the members are as follows:[6]

 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  Syrian Arab Republic
 Dominica  Mali  Timor-Leste
 Ecuador  Nicaragua  Tunisia

The Special Committee also has 14 observers.

Officers and bureau members[edit]

The Chair of the Special Committee for 2012 is Diego Morejón Pazmino of Ecuador. He succeeded Francisco Carrion-Mena of Ecuador, who elected on 24 February 2011 in an unusual secret-ballot vote of the committee, receiving 15 votes; Donatus Keith St. Aimee (St. Lucia), who was Chair in 2010, received 10 votes.

The two Vice Chairs are Pedro Nunez Mosquera of Cuba and Shekou M. Touray of Sierra Leone; the Rapporteur is Bashar Ja'afari of Syria. The Bureau of the Committee comprises these four officers.[7]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]