New York (United Nations) — The United Nations must continue to be a forum for dialogue on decolonization as 17 territories around the world are still waiting to be self-governing, said UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.
"Decolonization is a process that has to be guided by the aspirations and needs of the communities living in the territories," said Guterres in his opening address at the first meeting of the 2020 session of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization, Friday in New York.
"The concerns of the peoples of the Territories are varied, and it is our collective responsibility to amplify their voices," he added in front of the participants, adding that since the creation of the UN in 1945, more than 80 former colonies have gained independence.
Today, 17 territories remain, mainly in the Americas and the Pacific.
Many are facing "very real and pressing challenges", Guterres told the Committee, adding that people living in the world's remaining territories "are still waiting for the promise of self-government to be fulfilled."
"We must continue to serve as a forum for meaningful dialogue between Territories and administering Powers to enable the peoples of the Territories to make informed decisions about their future," said the UN chief who recalled that 2020 marks the last year of the last decade for the elimination of colonialism.