Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples


The Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, commonly referred to as the “Declaration on Decolonization,” is a landmark document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It was adopted on December 14, 1960, through Resolution 1514 (XV).

The declaration represents a significant moment in history as it reaffirms the principles of self-determination, sovereignty, and the rights of people living under colonial rule to attain independence. It aimed to put an end to the era of colonization and grant freedom to all colonial countries and peoples.

Key principles of the Declaration include:

  1. Self-determination: The Declaration recognizes the right of all peoples to freely determine their political status and pursue their economic, social, and cultural development.
  2. Non-interference: It emphasizes that any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
  3. Equality: The Declaration emphasizes the equality of all people, regardless of their racial, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds, and the importance of promoting equal rights and opportunities.
  4. Non-discrimination: It condemns any form of racial discrimination and apartheid, emphasizing the need for equal treatment and protection of all individuals.
  5. Peaceful means: The Declaration stresses that all peoples have the right to use any means necessary to achieve their independence and exercise their right to self-determination, including armed struggle, as long as it is in accordance with the UN Charter.

The Declaration on Decolonization played a significant role in the subsequent process of decolonization worldwide. It provided a framework for the granting of independence to many former colonies and influenced subsequent UN resolutions and international law related to decolonization. Today, the principles outlined in the declaration continue to serve as a foundation for promoting self-determination and ending colonialism.

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