NAM Supporting Current Initiatives on Decolonization

One of the founding principles of Non-Aligned Movement has been the rejection of colonialism. References to anti-colonial struggle can be found out in nearly all the summits and declarations by the Non-Aligned Movement. Anti-colonialism was the major binding factor that drew the newly independent states of Asia, Africa, and Latin America into the largest collective grouping of the Global South.

To this day, NAM continues to extend its support to the initiatives on Decolonization. NAM Member States fully supported and actively participated in the Pacific Regional Seminar on Decolonization held in Denarau, Nadi, Fiji, from 21 to 23 May 2014 of 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 seminar chaired by Xavier Lasso Mendoza of Ecuador, a prominent NAM Member State, debated the way forward in promoting the goals of the Third International Decade of Colonialism. At the 17th NAM Summit in Venezuela, NAM appreciated the commitment and efforts of the Chair of the Committee to implement its decisions during the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.

Another such initiative on decolonization that received support and appreciation of the NAM was the Pacific Regional Seminar of the Special Committee on Decolonization, on the theme “Implementation of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism: commitments and actions for decolonization in the Non-Self-Governing Territories”, which for the second time in a row was hosted by Nicaragua from the 31st May to the 2nd of June 2016. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the focus on commitments and actions within the framework of the third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2011-2020).

Members of the Special Committee participating in the seminar recalled the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, contained in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV), and the role of the Committee to examine the application of the Declaration, to make suggestions and recommendations on the progress in, and extent of, the implementation of the Declaration, and to report to the General Assembly.
Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño (Venezuela), Chair of the Special Committee on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples stressed the urgent need to free people from the yoke of colonialism as the third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2011-2020) approached its end, and remarked: “The commitment does not fall to a few; the international community must join efforts for an end to this colonial situation”.

He urged greater productivity and fresh impetus to improve the work of United Nations bodies tasked with decolonization matters. He further said that the seminar should be an instrument of change in favour of decolonization, and emphasised that “Our commitment is to promote the decolonization process and to put an end to the shame of colonialism around the world”. Underlining the importance of the annual week of solidarity with the peoples of Non- Self-Governing Territories, the Chair categorically noted that “we will not rest until all of those deprived of their sovereign and territorial integrity are liberated”.

The host country Nicaragua’s Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and Permanent Representative to the United Nations pledged her Government’s support for peoples struggling for liberation and agreed that progress had been made towards ending colonialism around the world, and said that the commitment to advance the third International Decade demonstrated that dialogue and negotiation were possible when there was political will to implement United Nations resolutions. The 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Venezuela recognised the commitment and efforts of the Government of Nicaragua in contributing towards the successful implementation of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.

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