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Un Decolonisation Committee

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 11 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the British Government made to the recent meeting of the UN Decolonisation Committee in Anguilla. [117866]

We made clear at the seminar that the agreement of the British and Anguillian governments that the Decolonisation Committee (C24) annual seminar could take place in Anguilla does not represent a change in HMG's policy of informal co-operation with the Committee. We took the opportunity to update the Chairman and members of the C24 on developments in our relations with the Overseas Territories (OTs) since publication of the 1999 White Paper, and in particular the process of constitutional modernisation. We invited the Committee to take account of the extent to which most UK OTs are democratically governed and economically vibrant in their deliberations on whether some of the Territories might soon be removed from the UN list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the implications for the remaining British colonies resulting from the recent meeting of the UN Decolonisation Committee in Anguilla. [117867]

We await the formal conclusions of the UN seminar, which have to be approved by the Committee of 24 meeting in plenary.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent meeting of the UN Decolonisation Committee in Anguilla. [117868]

The UN Special Committee on De-Colonisation, known as C24, holds an annual seminar which alternates between the Pacific and Caribbean Regions. This year's seminar (20–22 May) was held in Anguilla and focussed on advancing the de-colonisation process in the Caribbean Overseas Territories and Bermuda. Anguilla is one often British Territories on the UN list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. The Anguilla seminar was attended by Chief Ministers and senior representatives of several of the Territories on the UN list and by invited experts and NGOs. The conclusions of the seminar, when finalised and approved by the C24, will be published as a UN document.