17 May 2010

New Caledonia hosts UN Decolonisation seminar

6:51 am on 17 May 2010

The United Nations General Assembly's Special Committee on Decolonisation begins a three-day Pacific Regional Seminar in Noumea tomorrow.

Representatives from Pacific states and territories, including New Caledonia, Tokelau, American Samoa, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand, are expected to attend.

But there will also be delegates from as far away as Cayman Islands, the Western Sahara, Chile and the Republic of Congo.

The committee's chair and St Lucia's representative to the UN, Dr Donatus St. Aimee, says the aim of the seminar is to provide territories with information about the options available to them.

"The role of the committee is to facilitate the process by which citizens exercise their right to self-determination. Remember exercising the right to self-determination does not always lead to independence but that is a pathway that is available."

Dr St. Aimee says the seminar will also inform delegates about the assistance the UN can provide on decolonisation.