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Ambasador Severin to head UN mission

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Friday, December 1, 2006 – St. Lucia’s ambassador to the United Nations H. E. Mr. Anthony B. Severin will head a United Nations mission to the pacific island nation of Fiji in the coming days to address decolonization issues, it was announced today. Ambassador Severin is the current chairman of the UN Special Committee on Decolonization, having been elected by acclamation on 29 August 2006.

As Chairman of the Special Committee, Ambassador Severin will chair a meeting from 28 to 30 November focusing on the status of the remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories (NSGTs) currently undertaking a review of the United Nations.

Ambassador Severin explained that the meeting is held on an annual basis, alternating between the Caribbean and the Pacific, and is a major activity of the Plan of Action of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.

“Since most of the remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories reviewed by the United Nations are in the Caribbean and Pacific,” the Ambassador pointed out, “the meetings are held within a regional context to maximize the role of neighboring states of the respective regions.”

He noted that this is especially important, since most of the NSGTs in both regions are associate members or observers in various regional inter-governmental organizations, and the economic and cultural ties between these territories and their regions, are important to assist these territories in the realization of their right to self-determination.

Non-Self-Governing Territories in the Atlantic/Caribbean include Bermuda, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat and the US Virgin Islands, while Puerto Rico (not formally listed) is also reviewed by the Special Committee on Decolonisation.

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