The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization, currently chaired by Keisha Aniya McGuire of Grenada, will undertake a visiting mission to Montserrat from Tuesday to Friday of this week.
Formally known as the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the Special Committee is a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly devoted to decolonization and tasked with overseeing implementation of the Declaration. In order to fulfill that mandate, and in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions on specific Territories, the Special Committee undertakes visiting missions to ascertain the situation of their respective peoples.
According to a report on the UN website, “the visiting mission’s objective is to gather first‑hand information on the situation in the Territory, focusing on its political, economic, social and environmental development, as well as the challenges of attaining sustainable development, particularly the impact of volcanic eruptions occurring since 1995. The mission’s findings will be presented to the Special Committee in the form of a report that will be made available to the public.
“Four members of the Special Committee will make up the visiting mission to Montserrat: Grenada (Chair), Antigua and Barbuda, Indonesia and Sierra Leone. Administered by the United Kingdom, Montserrat has been on the United Nations list of Non‑Self‑Governing Territories since 1946,” the article read.
The invitation for the Special Committee to visit the island was extended by former premier Donaldson Romeo who has spoken on two occasions before the group requesting their support. New premier Easton Taylor-Farrell said he was willing to hear the committee out before making any decisions on a way forward for Montserrat as it relates to decolonisation.
As of today, 17 Non‑Self‑Governing Territories remain under the Special Committee’s purview: American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands (Malvinas)*, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Guam, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands and Western Sahara.
More information about United Nations decolonization efforts can be found at www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en.