International Week of Solidarity with Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories

United Nations is observing “International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories” from May 25 to 31, 2021.

What is Non-Self-Governing Territories?

According to the UN Charter, a Non-Self-Governing Territory is a Territory “where people have not attained a full measure of self-government.”

Who Identify these territories?

UN Member States had identified a number of non-self-governing-territories under their administration and enlisted them on UN list in 1946. Countries who administer Non-Self-Governing Territories are known as administering Powers. However, because of decolonization process, several territories were removed from the list.

Which UN charter gives the power?

Chapter XI of the UN Charter provides for “Declaration regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories”. The charter provides that, member states who are administering non-self-governing Territories, shall recognize the interests of inhabitants of these Territories are paramount. They should also accept as “sacred trust” and promote their well-being. It also asks member countries to take measures to safeguard and guarantee inalienable rights of peoples in Non-Self-Governing Territories to their natural resources.

Background

Eight UN Member States namely, Belgium, Australia, France, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States had listed 72 non-self-governing Territories under their administration in 1946. Eight of them became independent before 1959. In 1963, UN approved the revised list of 64 Territories on which 1960 Declaration on Decolonization was applicable. Between 1960 to 2002, 54 Territories acquired self-government. Presently, there remains 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories.

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