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UN General Assembly adopts resolution on territories

DURING its 48th Plenary Meeting on the 7th of December, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a new resolution that “reaffirms the need to avoid any economic or other activities, including the use of the Non-Self-Governing Territories for military activity that adversely affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.”

The U.N. passed Resolution 73/104, “Economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories,” with the intention of reminding administering powers of “their responsibility and accountability vis-à-vis any detriment to the interests of the peoples of those Territories, in accordance with relevant resolutions of the United Nations on decolonization.”

“Any economic or other activity, including the use of the Non-Self-Governing Territories for military activity, that has a negative impact on the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories and on the exercise of their right to self-determination… is contrary to the purposes and principles of the Charter,” the resolution states.

This appears to conflict with the U.S. Navy’s plans to carry out a military build-up on Guam, which remains an unincorporated territory where the general population cannot vote for president and lacks representation by a voting delegate in Congress. Guam-based activists have been protesting the Navy’s plans on the grounds that they would destroy cultural heritage areas and old-growth forests.

The General Assembly, which acts as the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the U.N., adopted the measure “reaffirming further that the natural resources are the heritage of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, including the indigenous populations” and stating “its concern about any activities aimed at the exploitation of the natural resources that are the heritage of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.”

The resolution calls for governments “to ensure that the exploitation of the marine and other natural resources in the Non-Self-Governing Territories under their administration is not in violation of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, and does not adversely affect the interests of the peoples of those Territories.” If governments find that exploitation is occurring, the U.N. calls upon them to take legislative, administrative, and other measures to put an end to such activities.

Whether the U.N.’s resolution will prompt any response whatsoever from the U.S. government remains to be seen.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/109687-un-general-assembly-adopts-resolution-on-territories

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