UN Decolonisation Mission to Montserrat Begins

Her Excellency Keisha Aniya McGuire of Grenada

The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization (C-24) has dispatched a Visiting Mission to Montserrat, from December 7 to 20, 2019, to gather first-hand information on the situation in Montserrat, focusing on its political, economic, social and environmental development and challenges to achieve sustainable development, particularly the impacts of the volcanic eruptions since 1995.

Given the number of Montserratians who relocated to Antigua since the onset of volcanic eruptions in 1995, the Mission, chaired by Her Excellency Keisha Aniya McGuire of Grenada, will also be holding meetings in Antigua including a representative group of citizens of Montserrat who continue to live there. The meeting with Montserratians living in Antigua, will be conducted today (Tuesday, December 17).

The Mission will then arrive on Montserrat on Wednesday, December 18. The visiting mission to Montserrat is comprised of four members of the Special Committee: Grenada (Chair), Antigua and Barbuda, Indonesia and Sierra Leone; supported by three secretariat employees.

The Programme of Work to be conducted by the Mission will include meetings with individuals from the Public Sector, Private Sector and Civil Society. Meetings are scheduled to be conducted with His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Andrew Pearce; the Premier Easton Taylor-Farrell and his Cabinet; Leader and Members of the Legislative Opposition; former legislators; Ministers of the Clergy; Constitutionalists; Women Affairs Groups; Non-governmental Organisations; Political Parties; and Business owners.

In keeping with the practice, nature and methods of work of Visiting Missions, all meetings will be closed, there will be no media interviews and interactions with the public outside of the agreed Programme of Work, nor the holding of press conferences. The Visiting Mission will prepare a report which will be made public.

Montserrat has been on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories since 1946. In 2019, the United Nations General Assembly, by its resolution 74/113, reaffirmed that UN Visiting Missions to the Non-Self-Governing Territories were an effective means of ascertaining the situation of the peoples of the Territories. The C-24 has dispatched a total of 37 visiting and special missions to 23 Non-Self-Governing Territories since 1965.

17 Non-Self-Governing Territories currently 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.

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