The UN and decolonization

By José M. López Sierra – Puerto Rico

The following link is the official website of the United Nations’ (UN) Decolonization Committee. Click on this link to go there: https://www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en

An informational video about the UN with regards to decolonization is at the very top of this page. I suggest that you watch the video. It is important to mention that the UN chooses to call colonies, “Non-Self-Governing Territories” (NSGT).

You will note that Puerto Rico is excluded from the UN’s list of colonies. How could the oldest and most populated colony in the world not be on the UN’s list?

There are a total of 2 million people living in those 17 colonies on the UN’s list. If Puerto Rico were included, you would have to add another 3.2 million people. Therefore, there are more colonized people in just Puerto Rico, than in the entire17 colonies on the UN’s actual list!

Puerto Rico was taken off the UN’slist in 1953, because the United States government (USG) lied to the UN. Itsbiglie then was that Puerto Rico had acquired self-government in 1952, and thus ceased to be a colony. Although the UN realizesnow that the USG lied, the UN has never wanted to put Puerto Rico back on its list. Who is the UN helping with that decision?

If someone wants to speak at the UN’s Puerto Rico decolonization hearing in June 2021, he would need to follow the instructions below.

“C-24 substantive session – June

Individuals or civil society organizations wishing to address at their own expense the yearly  C-24 session in June as petitioners regarding the Non-Self-Governing Territories* inscribed under the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples should submit in good time an online form with an attachment containing a scanned copy of a letter requesting to appear as a petitioner, which must be addressed to the Chair of the C-24, specify the Non-Self-Governing Territory under which they would like to petition and be signed by hand.” 

The problem with theabove instructions is that the UN has neglected to indicate where that “online form” is. It used to be this: https://epetition.un.org/dgacm/gaead/e-petition.nsf/xpPetitionRequestC24.xsp. But if you click on it now, you will get this: “Error 404HTTP Web Server: IBM Notes Exception – File does not exist”

If the UN is holding the Puerto Rico decolonization hearing next month despite COVID-19 concerns, it seems to me that it is trying to discourage petitioners from attending by making the process as confusing as possible!

It is fortunate for Puerto Ricans that it is the colonized people, and not the UN, who have the inalienable right to self-determination and independence. All we have to do is inform and organize ourselves, and engage in permanent resistance to force the USG to comply with international law.

The process is clear and simple. We must protest now, tomorrow and forever! 

What are we waiting for?

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