Saint Lucia Renews Its History with the UN’s C-24

When Saint Lucia hosts the  United Nations annual regional seminar on Decolonisation, from the 11-13th May 2022, which will be held under the auspices of the oganisation’s  Special Committee on Decolonisation ( known as the C -24),  the country will be renewing a tradition in which St. Lucia has given substantial support to the work of the C-24.

Saint Lucia’s history of collaboration with and promotion of the C24 dates back to 1999 when it hosted its first regional seminar on decolonisation which was held at the then conference room of the NIC. More significantly, four of Saint Lucia’s Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in New York, have served as Chair of the C 24. They were Ambassador Sir Julian R Hunte (2001, 2005-2006); Ambassador Earl Stephen Huntley (2001- 2003); Ambassador Anthony Severin (2006); and Ambassador Donatus Keith St Aimee (2010)

Ambassador Huntley was one of the more successful Chairs of the C24 as he pushed the Committee to play a more activist role during his tenure. In 2002, he led the C24 to undertake its first visiting mission in a decade to a non Self Governing territory. That was to Tokelau, a non self governing territory of New Zealand in one of the remotest parts of the South Pacific, from 12-24th August 2002; that mission set in motion a process which eventually led to a referendum in Tokelau on its future status with New Zealand. It is to be noted that in 2018, the United Nations General Assembly requested the C 24 to undertake at least one visiting mission a year.

In 2003, Ambassador Huntley was able to conclude an agreement with the UK under which the Special Committee would for the first time ever hold a regional seminar in a non self governing territory. That year the seminar was held in Anguilla, under his Chairmanship, and the C24 was able to directly interact with the people of Anguilla. It should be noted that since then no other regional seminar has been held in a non self governing territory.

It is to be hoped that with such a record at C 24 for St.Lucia that this year’s seminar in the country will result in an invigoration of the Special Committee and indeed advance the cause of the Non Self Governing territories of the Caribbean and the Pacific.

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