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Monday, March 14, 2005 - St. Lucia Ambassador to the United Nations The Honourable Dr. Julian R. Hunte is scheduled to lead a special mission to Bermuda at the end of March to participate in that overseas territory’s public consultation process on political and constitutional advancement, it was announced today.

Ambassador Hunte, who was elected to chair the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization last month, has arranged the U.N. mission at the request of the Bermuda Independence Commission (BIC), a government-appointed body which is responsible for conducting the political education programme in the territory. The mission will include several members of the Special Committee, UN Secretariat staff members, as well as representatives of U.N. agencies and a senior expert.

Ambassador Hunte explained that the invitation to visit Bermuda emerged from informal discussions with a delegation from the BIC which had travelled to U.N. Headquarters in February to meet with member States of the Special Committee on Decolonization and Small Island Developing States of the Caribbean and Pacific regions. Those meetings concentrated on the role of the United Nations and the international community at large in fostering democratic governance through the decolonization process.

“I stressed to my colleagues on the special Committee that it would be important to respond quickly and favourably to the request of the people of Bermuda in order to engage them at this critical time when they are reviewing their political options for the future,” Ambassador Hunte said.

Accordingly, the United Nations team would conduct a series of discussions with the full Bermuda Independence Commission, and would participate in a number of public meetings in different areas of the territory. The team is also scheduled to meet with the Premier of Bermuda and his Cabinet, along with representatives of the opposition.

“We look forward to a fruitful discussion with the people of Bermuda as they proceed towards the attainment of a full measure of self-government,” Ambassador Hunte said, and the Special Committee is fully prepared to provide effective guidance as the process unfolds.

A non self-governing territory administered by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Bermuda is located in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean, about 917 kilometres east of the North Carolina coast of the United States of America with a population of some 63,000 inhabitants. The Territory is very densely populated, with 1,180 inhabitants per square kilometer), and is on the list of countries with the highest urban population, as 100 per cent of its population lives in urban areas.


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