Today, fewer than 2 million people live in these territories, seven of which are in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands — all governed by the United Kingdom — and the United States Virgin Islands, which is governed by the United States.
Following her election on 16 February, 2023, Rambally recalled that the Special Committee's 2022 regional seminar held in Saint Lucia last May helped lead to 20 draft resolutions and decisions of the Special Committee being adopted by the UN General Assembly. She highlighted that a significant number of petitioners and representatives from as many as 13 of the 17 remaining Territories had engaged with the Special Committee, enriching its consideration of their situations and the decolonisation issue as a whole.
Noting that the work of the Special Committee will continue so long as there remain Non-Self-Governing Territories on its list, she said the body will address the needs and situation of each Territory on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the Territory’s particular circumstances.
“In this engaging spirit, let us seek to initiate innovative steps for the current session," Rambally said.
Secretary-General says Non-Self-Governing Territories must be heard ‘loud and clear’
Encouraging deeper collaboration and constructive dialogue to expedite the end of colonialism, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, opened the Special Decolonization Committee’s Annual Session by saying that meeting the aspirational needs of small island territories under the purview of the Special Committee on Decolonization must be prioritised as a global responsibility.
“The concerns of the Territories are varied, and we must ensure their voices are heard loud and clear,” he asserted, adding that “accelerating the decolonisation agenda is a collective endeavour”.
Most NSGTs are small islands exposed to rising sea levels and are particularly vulnerable to climate disasters. “They are at the frontline of climate emergency,” the UN Chief warned. he said that the global community must ensure that these territories have the requisite resources and support to build resilience and invest in their future.
The Secretary-General's statement was delivered by Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenča, to open the 2023 session of the special committee, known formally 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.
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