Press Releases

                                                                                                                            19 May 2004

    Despite UN’s Achievements, Job of Decolonization Remains Incomplete, Secretary-General Tells Pacific Regional Seminar in Papua New Guinea

    NEW YORK, 18 May (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message on the occasion of the opening of the Pacific Regional Seminar on Decolonization, being held in Papua New Guinea from 18 to 20 May, and the observance of the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, delivered by Anna Theofilopoulou, Acting Chief, Decolonization Unit, Department of Political Affairs:

    In this Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories, I am very pleased to convey my greetings to all who have gathered in Madang, Papua New Guinea, for the Pacific Regional Seminar on Decolonization.

    It is with a great sense of accomplishment that the United Nations can look back at what has been achieved in the field of decolonization since the early years of the Organization. However, with 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories remaining on the United Nations list, the job is incomplete.  It is therefore the duty of the United Nations and the international community to bring the process of decolonization to a successful conclusion.

    Cooperation is essential for there to be progress in discharging the mandate of the Special Committee on Decolonization. This annual seminar, which this year focuses on the Pacific-based territories, is an opportunity for the Committee, the people living in the territories and the administering Powers to listen to one another, and to the views of experts, and to examine the progress made in upholding the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and in the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.  I hope this year’s seminar will also help all concerned to prepare for the future, by devising strategies to support the political, economic and social advancement of the Non-Self-Governing Territories in their quest for self-determination.

    I would like to express my great appreciation to the Government and people of Papua New Guinea for their generous hospitality in hosting this Seminar. Please accept my best wishes for the success of your important deliberations.

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