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UN REAFFIRMS DECLARATION ON DECOLONISATION

Forty years after adopting the Declaration on the Granting of Indepen-
dence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the General Assembly reaffirmed
its principles at a meeting held on Friday 9 December 2000, to commemo-
rate the landmark event.

In a statement to the Assembly, its President, Harri Holkeri of Finland,
stressed that the anniversary of the Declaration's adoption "offers us
an opportunity to look back at the successes the UN has achieved in the
field of decolonization, but more importantly, to look ahead and reiterate
our commitment to fulfil its objectives and redouble our efforts to that
end." He pointed to the UN's success in helping East Timor exercise its
right to self-determination as evidence of recent progress in the field
of decolonization.

For his part, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a message to the meet-
ing that the Declaration represented a universal reaffirmation of a hist-
oric process of emancipation, freedom, and self-rule. He noted that the
UN's success in this area could be measured by the fact that more than 60
nations now represented in the General Assembly had achieved indepe-
ndence since the Declaration was adopted.

Acting on several measures related to decolonization, the Assembly
adopted by a recorded vote a resolution reaffirming its determination to
take all steps necessary to bring about the complete and speedy
eradication of colonialism
and the faithful observance by all States of
the UN Charter and the Declaration.

The resolution also specified a series of measures to be taken by the
committee which monitors the Declaration's implementation, including fin-
alizing by the end of next year "a constructive programme of work on a
case-by-case basis for the Non-Self-Governing Territories." The Committee
was also requested to enlist worldwide support among governments, as
well as national and international organizations, for the achievement of the
Declaration's objectives.

In a separate action, adopted by a recorded vote, the General Assembly
declared the period 2001-2010 to be the Second International Decade for
the Eradication of Colonialism. The Assembly also adopted over two dozen
resolutions on the recommendation of its Special Political and Decoloni-
zation (Fourth) Committee on a wide range of issues, including atomic
radiation, outer space, questions relating to information, the rights
of the Palestinian people, UN peacekeeping and decolonization.
    
END