PRESS RELEASE 081
Spain participates in the Caribbean Regional Seminar on "Implementation of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism: accelerating decolonization through renewed and pragmatic measures" commitment
06/05/2019

​From 2 to 4 May 2019, the so-called "Caribbean Regional Seminar" was held in Saint George’s, Grenada, and has been organised annually by the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, known as the "Committee of 24" of the United Nations.

The aim of this meeting is to exchange points of view with representatives of Non-Self-Governing Territories, experts, members of civil society and representatives of member states of the United Nations that will enable the Committee to define policies and practical measures that can be implemented by the United Nations in the area of decolonization, taking into account the specifics of each individual case.
 
This year the theme chosen was "Implementation of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism: accelerating decolonization through renewed commitment and pragmatic action". The contributions of the participants in this seminar, including those of Spain, will make it possible to lay the foundations for its consideration at the session of the Special Committee to be held in New York in June 2019, with the aim of submitting proposals to the General Assembly with a view to achieving the objectives of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.

Spain intervened in relation to Gibraltar to underline, once again, its full support for the work of the United Nations and the Committee of 24 in promoting the decolonization process, recalling the historical anachronism of having a colony on its own territory in the twenty-first century, a situation that damages its own territorial integrity. Spain recalled the historical origins of the dispute and the illegal occupation of the peninsula, the waters around Gibraltar its airspace, contrary to international law, and the problems posed by that occupation in the twenty-first century.

It was further stressed that in the case of Gibraltar, unlike other decolonization processes, the principle of restitution of Spanish territorial integrity, cut off by the presence of the colony in its territory, applies.

As Spain recalled, this circumstance, recognised by the United Nations since 1965, clearly distinguishes the case of Gibraltar from that of other territories subject to decolonization, where the principle of self-determination of peoples is often applied.

Spain concluded by calling on the United Kingdom, a friend, partner and ally, to fulfil the mandate of the United Nations and to agree to negotiate on Gibraltar in the terms established by the United Nations itself and in the spirit of the Brussels Declaration of 27 November 1984, listening to the interests of the people of Gibraltar.

The United Nations General Assembly established a Special Committee of 17 members in 1961, extended to 24 members in 1962, to examine the implementation of the Declaration on Decolonization (General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960) and to make recommendations on its implementation. Although commonly referred to as the Committee of 24 or the Special Committee on Decolonization, its full name is 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 Committee meets annually to review and update the list of territories included in the Declaration. It listens to the statements of appointed and elected representatives of the territories, as well as petitioners, sends visiting missions to the territories and organises seminars on the political, social, economic and educational situation in the territories. The Committee also makes recommendations regarding the dissemination of information to mobilise public opinion in support of the decolonization process and celebrates the International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

Gibraltar was included by the United Kingdom in 1946 in the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

 

 

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