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UN Documentation: Decolonization

Key UN Documents Related to Decolonization

There are numerous UN documents related to non-self-governing territories, self-determination, decolonization and related topics. This list highlights some of the most widely cited documents.

Charter of the United Nations

  • Chapter XI, Articles 73-74: Declaration regarding Non-Self Governing Territories
  • Chapter XII, Articles 75-85: International Trusteeship System
  • Chapter XIII, Articles 86-91: Trusteeship Council

General Assembly Resolutions

  • Non-self-governing peoples
  • Transmission of Information under Article 73e of the Charter
  • Participation of the Non-Self-Governing Territories in the work of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies
  • Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
  • Principles which should guide Members in determining whether or not an obligation exists to transmit the information called for under Article 73e of the Charter
  • The situation with regard to the implementation of the Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples
  • Permanent sovereignty over natural resources
  • Strict observance of the prohibition of the threat or use of force in international relations, and of the right of peoples to self-determination
  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  • Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations
  • Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order
  • Programme of Action on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order
  • Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States
  • Declaration on the Right to Development
  • International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (1990-2000)
  • Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2001-2010)
  • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2011-2020)

Human Rights Bodies Documents

  • Human Rights Committee
    • General Comment No. 12 on the right to self-determination, CCPR/C/21/Rev.1, pages 10-12
  • Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
    • General Recommendation No. 21 on the right to self-determination, A/51/18, pages 125-126
  • Reports of the Special Rapporteur of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities
    • The right to self-determination : historical and current development on the basis of United Nations instruments : study prepared by Aureliu Cristescu
    • The right to self-determination : implementation of United Nations resolutions : study prepared by Héctor Gros Espiell