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NAM urges UN to speed up decolonization process

In a statement read out at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday, Iran and other members of the Non-Aligned Movement called on the UN to expedite the efforts to fully implement the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and People.
The statement was read out by the Iranian ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaee, on behalf of the NAM member states, during a meeting of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee.

Following is the text of the statement:

Mr. Chairman,

Allow me first to congratulate you on your election as the chair of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee of the sixty-seventh Session of the General Assembly. While wishing you all the best of success, I reaffirm the commitment of the Non-Aligned Movement to cooperate with you in order to conduct the deliberations and work of the committee to a successful completion.

Mr. Chairman,

Since its inception in 1955, the Non-Aligned Movement, has attached great importance to decolonization and the exercise of the legitimate right to self-determination of peoples under colonization and alien dominance. The movement reaffirms once again its full support for the aspirations of peoples under colonial rule to exercise their right to self-determination in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and its relevant resolutions.

The Non-Aligned Movement regrets that since 1960 and despite all effort exerted by the United Nations and its different organs to end decolonization and to implement the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and People, decolonization process is still yet to be completed and there are still 16 non- self governing territories under the purview of the General Assembly.

The existence of colonialism in any form or manifestation, including economic exploitation, is incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations, the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In this regard, it is imperative for the United Nations to fulfill its responsibilities and to speed up the process of decolonization toward the complete elimination of colonialism in accordance with the declaration, subsequent relevant General Assembly resolutions, and the provisions of the United Nations Charter.

The Non-Aligned Movement stresses, yet again, the importance of the recommendations contained in the Final Document of the 16th Summit Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Movement, held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, in August 2012, as well as in the Final Document of the 17th NAM ministerial meeting held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in May 2012, in particular the renewal of the call to the United Nations member states to speed up the process of decolonization towards the complete elimination of colonialism.

The Non-Aligned Movement reiterates its full support to the activities and the hard work of the Special Committee and to the decolonization process carried out by the United Nations through its pertinent bodies, pursuant to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and principles established in resolution 1514 (XV) of the General Assembly. The movement believes that the Special Committee should enhance its efficiency in order to improve its interaction and cooperation with administering powers, and ensure the active participation of peoples of the non-self-governing territories in determining their own future. Meanwhile, we urge the administering powers to grant their full support to the activities of the Special Committee and fully cooperate with this UN body.

Mr. Chairman,

Declaring the period 2011-2020, the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, should be considered as a unique opportunity for international community in order to put an end to colonialism in all its forms and manifestations. In this regard, we encourage all parties involved to take all steps necessary to bring about the complete and speedy eradication of colonialism in this decade.

The Non-Aligned Movement urges all administering powers to pay full compensations for the economic, social, and cultural consequences of their occupation, in order to fulfill the right of all peoples who were or are still subjected to colonial rule or foreign occupation, to receive fair compensation for the human and material losses they suffered as a result of colonial rule or occupation.

Furthermore, the movement calls upon the United Nations to ensure that economic and other activities carried out by the administering powers do not affect the interests of the peoples of non-self-governing territories, but instead to promote development and assist them in the exercise of their legitimate right to self-determination. This also applies to the cultural and heritage identity of the colonial peoples as a component of the humanity universal heritage. The Non-Aligned Movement further urges the United Nations Member States to fully implement the decisions and resolutions of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization concerning the return of cultural properties to the peoples who were or still are under colonial rule or foreign occupation.

The Non-Aligned Movement reaffirms its position on the question of Puerto Rico, contained in the Final Document of the 16th Summit Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Movement, as well as in the Final Document of the 17th NAM ministerial meeting, in which the Movement reaffirms the right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence on the basis of General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) and urges the United Nations General Assembly to actively consider the question of Puerto Rico in all its aspects. Likewise, the movement called for the release of the Puerto Rican political prisoners, including Oscar Lopez Rivera who has served more than thirty years in prison, and welcomed the release of Carlos Alberto Torres in 2010.

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