The Question on Non-Self-Governing territories

“The question on Non-Self-Governing territories have been a paradox, but in this committee we deal with difficult paradoxes”, said Mr. Mendoza , the Chairman of this committee. This meeting was filled with many of these paradoxes on the question on Gibraltar and the Western Saharan question.

Firstly, the committee discussed the dissemination of information on decolonization and non-self-governing territories. The UN Department of Public Information (DPI) presented their work so far in pursuant to General Assembly Resolutions implementing the Declaration on Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries Peoples. Cuba has urged the DPI to ensure information is available in all UN official languages.

Then delegates debated on the arrangement of visiting missions to non-self-governing territories. Algeria and Morocco were caught in short disagreement over a potential visiting mission to Western Sahara as Algeria maintained that it is the UN’s primary responsibility to help non-self-governing territories in all ways possible, while Morocco disagreed on grounds of territorial integrity.

Last but not least, delegates debated on the complex question on Gibraltar. Mr. Picardo, raised suspicions over the chairman’s private meeting with the Spanish Parliament. He called for further trilateral dialogue between the UK, Spain and Gibraltar and invited the chairman to visit Gibraltar. Mr. Mendoza explained it was his duty to meet all parties involved in the case of Gibraltar. Spain has pointed out the uncooperative attitude of British and Gibraltarian authorities in dialogues and combating cross-border crime. Finally, Mr. Buttigieg urged the committee to respect the right to self-determination of the Gibraltarian people. He also reminded the Spanish government of its endorsement of a comment made by Italy in 2013 calling the international community to pay closer attention to the rights of people to self-determination.

Meeting:  Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
Date & Location: 15 June 2015; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 2, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Xavier Lasso Mendoza, Chair of the Committee of 24 Decolonisation, Representative of Ecuador; Representative of Department of Public Information; Josiane Ambiehl , Chief of Decolonisation Unit , UN Department of Political Affairs; Fabian Picardo, Chief Minister of Gibraltar; Richard Buttigieg , Chairperson of Self Determination Group for Gibraltar
Written By WIT Representative: Kyle Chan
Edited By WIT Representative: Parth Shingala

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