International Week of Non-Self-Governing Territories 25-31 May | United Nations

Celebrations to mark Timor-Leste’s independence in 2002 were held in the capital Dili. | PHOTO:UN Photo / Sergey Bermeniev

Non-self-governing territories: a sacred trust

In the UN Charter, a Non-Self-Governing Territory is defined as a Territory “whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government”.

In 1946, several UN Member States identified a number of Territories under their administration that were not self-governing and placed them on a UN list. Countries administering Non-Self-Governing Territories are called administering Powers.  As a result of the decolonization process over the years, most of the Territories were removed from the list.

Chapter XI of the UN Charter – the Declaration regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories – provides that Member States administering Territories, which have not attained self-government recognize “that the interests of the inhabitants of these Territories are paramount” and accept as a “sacred trust” the obligation to promote their well-being.

Chapter IX urged the administering Powers concerned to take effective measures to safeguard and guarantee the inalienable rights of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to their natural resources, including land, and to establish and maintain control over the future development of those resources, and requested the Administering Powers to take all necessary steps to protect the property rights of the peoples of those Territories.

Administering Powers, in addition to ensuring the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the peoples, undertake to assist them in developing self-government and democratic political institutions. Administering Powers have an obligation to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General information on the economic, social and educational conditions in the Territories under their administration.

Chapter IX also urged all States, directly and through their action in the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, to provide moral and material assistance to the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.


In 1946, eight Member States – Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States – listed 72 Territories under their administration, which they considered to be non-self governing. Eight became independent before 1959.

Transmission of information by the administering Power was discontinued for 21 Non-Self-Governing Territories for various reasons. In some cases, such as Greenland, Alaska and Hawaii, the General Assembly accepted the cessation of information; in others, the decision was taken unilaterally by the administering Power.

In 1963, the Assembly approved a revised list of 64 Territories to which the 1960 Declaration on Decolonization applied. The list included the two remaining Trust Territories at that time (Nauru and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands); the Non-Self-Governing Territories for which information was transmitted under Chapter XI of the Charter (article 73e), including the Territories administered by Spain; Namibia (then referred to as South West Africa); and those Non-Self-Governing Territories about which no information had been transmitted, but which the Assembly had deemed to be Non-Self-Governing – namely the Territories under Portuguese administration and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). The list was further expanded in 1965 to include French Somaliland (now Djibouti) and Oman. The Comoro Islands were included in 1972 and New Caledonia in 1986.

From 1960 to 2002, 54 Territories attained self-government. At present, there are 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories remaining.[…]

Continue reading: International Week of Non-Self-Governing Territories | United Nations

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at
This entry was posted in Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to International Week of Non-Self-Governing Territories 25-31 May | United Nations

  1. A good post. Thank you 😊🌍

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.