The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization Committee) approved its work program for the seventy-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly, covering topics ranging from the decolonization of the 17 remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories and United Nations peacekeeping operations, to the plight of Palestinian refugees and other Arab territories, among other agenda items.
According to the timetable contained in its organization of work (document A/C.4/77/L.1), the Committee will begin its consideration of decolonization items on Monday 3 October, hearing statements from representatives and petitioners of the Non-Self-Governing Territories from 4 to 10 October followed by the continuation of a joint general debate on the issue.
In that regard, Committee Chair Mohamed Al Hassan (Oman) said that 200 requests have been received for hearings relating to the questions of American Samoa, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands / Malvinas, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Guam, New Caledonia, Saint Helena, United States Virgin Islands and Western Sahara, under the agenda item “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples”.
Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Guam have expressed their desire to send representatives to address the Committee under that same agenda item, he added.
On other topics, the Committee will consider the effects of atomic radiation on 17 October; questions relating to information from 19 to 21 October; international cooperation on the peaceful uses of outer space from 26 to 28 October; peacekeeping operations in all their aspects from 1 to 3 November; and special political missions on 4 November.
In other business, the Committee decided to establish a Working Group of the Whole to consider proposals submitted under the agenda item “International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space”. Acting without a vote, it elected Omran Sharaf (United Arab Emirates) as Chair of that working group.
The Fourth Committee will reconvene at 3 p.m. on Monday, 3 October, to begin its consideration of decolonization agenda items 51 to 55.