Premier Andrew Fahie traveled to Georgetown, Grenada from May 2-4 to meet with other regional leaders about the political status of the Virgin Islands and 16 other “non-independent countries” at a United Nations Caribbean regional seminar on decolonisation.

Mr. Fahie was the first VI head of government to attend the annual seminar, which examines issues of self-determination in the remaining period of the UN’s Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2011-2020), according to Government Information Services. In his remarks, he called for the VI to look beyond its relationship with the United Kingdom.

“Our relationship requires the international accountability that is provided for by the UN decolonisation framework,” he said. “This Caribbean regional seminar is an integral part of that process.”

The premier also called for strengthening the relationship with the UN in support of the government’s national development objectives and its efforts to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, and thanked the UN and its associated agencies for their assistance in recovering from the 2017 hurricanes. He also held a bilateral meeting with Keisha McGuire, chair of the Special Committee on Decolonisation and Grenada’s permanent representative to the UN.

In 1946, UN member states identified a roster of non-self-governing territories. Seventeen, including the VI, remain.

In 1960 the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples was adopted. The following year, the General Assembly established the Special Committee to annually review the territories remaining on the list, make recommendations on implementation, and disseminate information on the decolonisation process.

In 1990, the General Assembly proclaimed the first International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, including a specific plan of action to eliminate colonisation by 2020. December 2010 marked the end of the second international decade and the proclamation of a third one.

The 2019 seminar is the ninth to occur in the context of the third decade.