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Decolonization Process Not Complete - Ban Ki-Moon

Decolonization process not yet complete, says Ban Ki-moon

14 May 2008 - Although decolonization has been one of the United Nations' great success stories, the fact that 16 non-self-governing Territories remains means that the task has yet to be completed, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

"It falls to the United Nations, and to all of us as members of the international community, to help bring this process to a successful conclusion," he said in a message to the opening of the Pacific Regional Seminar on Decolonization and the observance of the week of solidarity with the peoples of the non-self-governing Territories.

When the United Nations was created in 1945, there were 72 such territories on the world body's decolonization list.

"Colonialism has no place in today's world," Mr. Ban said in his address, delivered by Freda Mackay, Chief of the Decolonization Unit of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA).

The three-day gathering 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, also known as the Special Committee of 24 on Decolonization, is being held in Bandung, Indonesia.

This year's event will focus on the Pacific region, and participants will discuss how to move the decolonization process forward.

Last year, after a UN-supervised referendum fell 16 votes short of attaining self-government, it was decided that Tokelau - three small and isolated atolls in the Pacific Ocean - would remain a territory of New Zealand.

ENDS

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