Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message to the opening of the 2021 Caribbean Regional Seminar on Decolonization, in Parish of St. John, Dominica, delivered on 25 August:
The 2021 Caribbean Regional Seminar on Decolonization concluded today with speakers highlighting the challenges and opportunities facing the world’s 17 remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories — including the coronavirus pandemic and climate change — going into the fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2021-2030).
Note: Due to the liquidity crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic impacting our Organization, only a partial summary of statements made in today’s meetings of the Special Committee on Decolonization are available. The complete summary will be issued as Press Release GA/COL/3347.
The Special Committee on Decolonization approved today a draft resolution calling upon the United States to assume its responsibility to promote a process to enable the people of Puerto Rico to fully exercise their right to self-determination and independence.
Highlighting fresh developments in Guam and New Caledonia, delegates provided updates on some of the world’s 17 remaining Non‑Self‑Governing Territories, as the Special Committee on Decolonization continued its 2021 substantive session.
Expediting the decolonization process must be seen as an imperative, United Nations Secretary-General Antônio Guterres told the Special Committee on Decolonization today, emphasizing that a constructive relationship with administrating Powers and all involved is indispensable for progress on a case-by-case basis.