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Statement by Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yishan at the Special Political and Decolonization Committee of the 58th Session of the General Assembly on the Question of Decolonization

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, I would like to warmly congratulate you on your election as Chairman of this Committee.  I am confident that under your leadership this committee will successfully fulfill its tasks. The Chinese Delegation will fully support your work.

Mr. Chairman,

It has remained a cardinal goal in the eadeavour made by the United Nations to help the colonial countries and peoples to exercise their right to self-determination and strive for independence. The historic Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples adopted by the General Assembly in 1960 has served to vigorously accelerate decolonization across the world.  With the support and assistance of the United Nations, historic achievements have been made in the process of decolonization, marking a success of the United Nations, as is pointed out by the Secretary-General.

Mr. Chairman,

There are still two million people living in 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories. The Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism declared by the 55th session of the General Assembly has reflected the common aspiration of the Member States for an early conclusion of the decolonization process. It is a duty of UN Member States to attach importance to the rights and interests of people of Non-Self-Governing Territories and help them to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with the principles of UN Charter and the Declaration. The Special Political and Decolonization Committee shoulders major responsibility in this regard. We are in favour of the proposal put forward by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his letter addressed to the seminar held in Anguilla by the Special Committee in May this year that the Special Committee should continue its efforts and find appropriate format and timing for the completion of decolonization in each territory. We look forward to closer cooperation between the administering Powers and the United Nations.

It calls our attention to the fact that 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 rendered consistent support to the efforts made by the people of Non-Self-Governing Territories in exercising their right to self-determination.  The Chinese Delegation will, as always, participate actively in the UN work in this field and closely cooperate with other members of the Committee in our unremitting efforts to fulfil the historic mission as laid down in the UN Charter and the Declaration.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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