Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples

Three points

1) The United Nations starts out by reaffirming the dignity and worth of the human person, the yearning for freedom in dependent peoples, the equal rights of men and women, and the need for better standards of life.

2) According to the UN, an end must be put to colonialism and all practices associated with it. Exploitation in colonies is a violation of human rights.

3) People and nations have the right to self-determination. A nation may be independent regardless of its social, economic, or cultural conditions.

Two questions:

What prompted this declaration?

Does this document take away from the original purpose of colonialism- to outsource labor, expand territory, and increase the diversity of consumer choices?

One point:

I thought the tone of this declaration was particularly interesting. The UN adopts an air of righteousness, when many of the countries in the UN had been employing methods of colonialism for centuries. It seems as if the countries that make up the UN suddenly realized that what they had been doing for generations was wrong. Furthermore, it’s interesting that the UN acknowledged the equal rights of men and women, when they certainly did not exist. Also, freedom is mentioned several times throughout the course of the document without any definition or guidelines as to how freedom may be defined. However, the document was written in 1960, and preceded many instrumental social and cultural movements that occurred towards the latter half of the 60s.

One thought on “Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples

  1. I think it incredibly interesting that the nations that one would normally consider to be advocates of this provision, such as the U.S., the U.K., and France, were actually 3 of the 9 nations that abstained from voting.

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