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United Nations Special Committee Directs U.S. to Provide Self Determination to Puerto Rico

In a meeting held on June 23, The Special Committee on Decolonization of the United Nations directed the United States to “again expedite a process that would allow the people of Puerto Rico to fully exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence, as well as take decisions, in a sovereign manner, to address their economic and social needs.”

By a resolution approved by consensus, the Committee recommended the U.N. General Assembly to urge the United States to complete the return of occupied land and installations on Vieques Island and in Ceiba to Puerto Rico, respect fundamental human rights and cover the costs of decontaminating areas previously used in military exercises.

Cuba’s representative, who introduced the text, said it reflected the international community’s urgent call to end the colonial status of Puerto Rico, which had been unable to exercise its right to self-determination and independence, despite 32 previous resolutions.  (Read about the 2014 resolution here and the 2013 resolution here.)  In addition, he said, Puerto Ricans had rejected the current status of political subordination in November 2012.

Just as he did last year and the year before, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi testified before the committee. This year, he asked for a change in the Committee’s resolution:

The lesson of history is that, if we fight for equal treatment, we will achieve it.
And we must fight because Puerto Rico’s current status is intolerable.

It is the root cause of the current economic and health care crisis in Puerto Rico, which is driving island residents to relocate to the states in massive numbers. Once they arrive, they can vote for the President of the United States and Members of Congress and are treated equally under all federal laws and programs.

If they remain in Puerto Rico, they are second-class citizens.

This should offend all men and women who believe in human dignity .

As for this Committee, every year it drafts a resolution affirming that Puerto Rico has the “inalienable right to self-determination and independence.”
You and the nations you represent may want Puerto Rico to become a sovereign nation.

However, the vast majority of men and women I represent do not, and this is our—and not your—decision to make.

Independence is a democratic and dignified status, but statehood is no less democratic and dignified.

Thus,the resolution you draft this year should state that Puerto Rico has the inalienable right to independence or integration as a state of the United States.

If it does not, it will be incomplete and it will be irrelevant

Read Pierluisi’s full remarks.

The United States did not attend.

5 thoughts on “United Nations Special Committee Directs U.S. to Provide Self Determination to Puerto Rico”

  1. Incomplete,irrelevant and anti American in nature.


  2. *yawn* more of the same from anti-American tyrants and dictators. After 33 years of pointless resolutions you would think they would get the hint. Then again, these are the same people who still cannot accept that the Falkland Islands want to stay British after 99% of the islanders voted in favor of remaining a British Overseas Territory.

    The United Nations is rapidly turning into a joke. When they allow countries like Syria to chair the “Human Rights Committee” you know there’s a very serious problem. It’s time for the UN to join it’s equally useless predecessor the League of Nations in the history textbooks.

  3. The UN is dominated by majority despotic regimes,Islamic nations and kingdoms that use opression and share a hatred for the free world. Its no surprise Pierluisi was ignored.
    UN is nothing more than a union for corrupt nations. That’s why there’s a security council to keep the main body in check!
    Such hypocrites.

    “We support Puerto Rico’s right to self determination and [only if its] independence ”

    That’s how the corrupt UN should word it,with honesty.

  4. Excuse me, is this not supposed to be an educational website? Why is it so heavily weighted for Statehood? Badmouthing the UN based on Pierluisi’s comments instead of the full report (which is not linked here) is pretty transparent bias.

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