HC Deb 12 January 1971 vol 809 cc30-1W
Mr. Michael Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will reconsider Her Majesty's Government's policy toward the United Nations Committee of 24.

Mr. Godber

The United Kingdom has played a full part in the work of the Committee of 24 since its establishment in 1962. However, our own process of decolonisation has now reached a stage where experience of the Committee's work has led us to question whether it can offer any constructive help in resolving the remaining problems. Our doubts on this point have been reinforced by the recent adoption by the General Assembly of a thoroughly unrealistic Programme of Action intended as a guide to the Committee's future activities.

While we shall, of course, continue to observe the provisions of the Charter relating to non-self-governing territories, Her Majesty's Government have therefore decided to withdraw from membership of the Committee with immediate effect. The Secretary-General of the United Nations was so informed on 11th January.