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Statement by Ambassador Shen Guofang, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the UN, on the Question of Decolonization at the Special Political and Decolonization Committee of the 56th Session of the General Assembly
(9 October 2001)


Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, I would like to warmly congratulate you on your election as Chairman of this Committee. My congratulations also go to other members of the Bureau. I am confident that under your outstanding leadership, this Committee will be able to complete its work with great success.

Mr. Chairman,

Ever since its inception, the United Nations has taken it as an important task to help the vast number of colonial countries and peoples to exercise their right to self-determination and strive for independence. Gratifying results have been achieved in this regard. Especially, in 1960, the General Assembly adopted the historic Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, which has since greatly accelerated decolonization across the world. The active participation by a large number of newly-independent countries in international affairs has also greatly enhanced the universality of the United Nations. At the same time, however, we have witnessed with regret that even today when humanity has already stepped into the new millennium, the decolonization process is still yet to be completed and the goals set by the Declaration remain unfulfilled. The 55th session of the General Assembly passed a resolution declaring the ten years after the ending of the First International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism as the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. This has fully demonstrated the common aspiration of all Member States to completely eradicate colonialism. We are confident that with the unremitting efforts of all Member States of the United Nations, the decolonization process will be making greater progress.

Mr. Chairman,

It is a lofty duty of all Member States to attach importance to the interests of people of Non-Self-Governing Territories and help them to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with the UN Charter and relevant G.A. resolutions and to realize the goal of total eradication of colonialism around the Globe. The fulfillment of this goal also requires the joint efforts of the United Nations, the people of Non-Self-Governing Territories and the administering Powers. We call on the administering Powers to cooperate more effectively with the United Nations and people of Non-Self-Governing Territories, so as to create necessary conditions for the people of Non-Self-Governing Territories to exercise their right to self-determination.

The transmission of information concerning the Non-Self-Governing territories under Article 73 e of the UN charter, the dissemination of information on decolonization, regional seminars on this topic and visiting missions to Non-Self-Governing Territories are all effective means to make known the will of the people of Non-Self-Governing Territories. We hope the administering Powers will enter into closer cooperation with the United Nations, ensure fully that people of Non-Self-Governing Territories know all their rights, provide in a timely manner necessary information for such purposes and accept United Nations visiting missions to territories under their administration. We are glad to see that in the past one year, the Special Committee has conducted useful consultations with the Delegation of New Zealand and laid a working plan on the issue of Tokelau. It is our hope that continuous progress will be achieved on this issue.

Most of the present Non-Self-Governing territories are small ones with a very fragile environment for development. Therefore, we call on the administering Powers to take effective measures to realize a well-balanced development of the society, economy, culture and education in those territories while protecting natural and human resources there.

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese Government has consistently supported the efforts of people of Non-Self-Governing Territories to exercise their right to self-determination. The Chinese Delegation will, as always, participate actively in the UN's work in this field and closely cooperate with other Member States in our unremitting efforts to fulfill the mission as laid down in the UN Charter and the Declaration.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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