Historical Special Committee on Decolonization
The Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples was established as one of the subsidiary organs of the General Assembly in 1961 with the purpose of monitoring the implementation of General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960. In order to advance decolonization the Special Committee hears statements from representatives of Non-Self-Governing Territories, reviews the political, social and economic conditions in these areas, reviews the list of Territories to which the Declaration is applicable and makes recommendations as to its implementation.
As of 2017, the Special Committee consists of 24 members which is also able to invite observers, while the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories includes 17 territories.
At KULMUN 2018, instead of discussing current events the Special Committee will simulate a historical session of the organ, giving the delegates to chance to rewrite history with the beneficiary advantage of having hindsight.
Topic A: Adieu La Nouvelle Calédonie? On the Question of Self Determination for New Caledonia in 1988
Since the end of the Second World War, New Caledonia has been an overseas territory of France and its population have been French citizens since 1953, regardless of ethnicity. During the nickel boom of 1969 – 1972, the population of Europeans and Polynesians gradually increased, pushing the indigenous Melanesians to minority status. This led to increased discontent amongst the native population. In 1986, New Caledonia was included in the United Nations list of Non-Self Governing Territories and the following year, its people was giving a chance to decide their future through a referendum but an overwhelming majority opted for continuing be a part of France. However, this referendum was boycotted by the local independence movement and France had previously rejected the involvement of UN observers. All of this culminated in a bloody hostage crisis on the island in 1988, which led to many deaths. Thus, setting the backdrop for the topic. It is now up to the Historical Special Committee on Decolonization to resolve the aftermath of the crisis, in order to restore stability in the territory and designing a framework to fulfil New Caledonian aspirations for self-determination by considering the balance between international peace and pursuit of statehood.
Topic B: Freedom lies in being bold: Unilateral Proclamation of Independence by Southern Rhodesia in 1965
With its well-functioning institutions, developed economy and many bright politicians, Southern Rhodesia (later to be named Zimbabwe) was one of the most successful British colonies in 1965. After its neighbours, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, became independent, it seemed that their own independence was also just around the corner. However, the hopes of the local authorities were not fulfilled by the United Kingdom, that was still expecting some reforms in the governance of the colony, leaving the question off the table for now. Following the failure to negotiate and to come to a solution that would satisfy both sides, Southern Rhodesia unilaterally proclaimed its independence from the United Kingdom in November 1965. The international response was swift, with a nearly immediate resolution from the UN Security Council condemning this political move and later imposed economic sanctions on the unrecognised state. Only two countries, South Africa and Portugal, showed their support for an independent Southern Rhodesia. With no side willing to give up, it seems like the conflict could take years to resolve. The Historical Special Committee on Decolonization now has the chance to intervene and prevent a long-term standoff between the two sides.
|Topic A: New Caledonia 1988||Topic B: South Rhodesia 1965|
|People’s Republic of China China (PRC)*||Republic of China (ROC)*|
|People’s Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)||Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)|
|Côte D’Ivoire||Côte D’Ivoire|
|Dominica*||United Arab Republic (Egypt)*|
|People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia||Ethiopian Empire|
|Islamic Republic of Iran||Imperial State of Iran|
|Papua New Guinea*||United States of America*|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis*||South Africa*|
|Sierra Leone||Sierra Leone|
|Syrian Arab Republic||Syrian Arab Republic|
|France* (Observer)||United Kingdom* (Observer)|
|Kanak and Socialist National
Liberation Front* (Observer)
IMPORTANT: If you select a state that is (or its successor state) present during both scenarios, you will automatically be attributed the same Member State for both. If you select one which is not present during the two timeframes (example: Fiji for Topic A), you will automatically be attributed the ‘neighbour’ state in the matrix (example: for Fiji this is Ghana for Topic B).
Note: * indicates that the Member State/Observer is advised for experienced delegates.