17 February 2006

Secretary-General Takes Note of Decision of People of Tokelau Regarding Self-Government

NEW YORK, 16 February (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General has taken note of the results of the referendum in Tokelau and respects the decision of its people against moving to self-government in free association with New Zealand.  A United Nations team deployed to monitor the vote has concluded that the referendum was credible and reflected the will of the people.

It is important that the people of Tokelau have had this opportunity.  The Secretary-General commends the Government of New Zealand, the administering Power, and the Special Committee on Decolonization, whose commitment to the principles enshrined in the 1960 United Nations Declaration on Decolonization made possible the referendum.

The United Nations will continue working to ensure that the people of all remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories have such opportunities to exercise their right to self-determination.

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