The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization, currently chaired by Keisha Aniya McGuire (Grenada), is on a visiting mission to the Caribbean island of Montserrat until Friday 20 December, while also holding meetings in Antigua and Barbuda.
Formally known as 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 Special Committee is a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly devoted to decolonization and tasked with overseeing implementation of the Declaration. In order to fulfill that mandate, and in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions on specific Territories, the Special Committee undertakes visiting missions to ascertain the situation of their respective peoples.
The visiting mission’s objective to gather first-hand information on the situation in the Territory, focusing on its political, economic, social and environmental development and challenges to achieve sustainable development, particularly the impacts of the volcanic eruptions since 1995. The mission’s findings will be presented to the Special Committee in the form of a report that will be made available to the public.
Four members of the Special Committee will make up the visiting mission to Montserrat: Grenada (Chair), Antigua and Barbuda, Indonesia and Sierra Leone. Administered by the United Kingdom, Montserrat has been on the United Nations list of Non Self Governing Territories since 1946.
As of today, 17 Non Self Governing Territories remain under the Special Committee’s purview: American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Guam, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands and Western Sahara.