Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples 1960: A Milestone in Decolonization Process
17 December 2020
This year marks two most remarkable anniversaries: 75th anniversary of the foundation of the United Nations and the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the General Assembly of the United Nations. These two events, the way we see it, are tightly intertwined. The creation of the UN – the true embodiment of mankind’s intention to build a better world and prevent the horrors of World War II from happening ever again – laid the foundation for the adoption of the Declaration, 15 years later. We find natural – what kind of a better world would that be, if such abominable thing as colonialism would have still been in place? Since 24 October 1945, when the United Nations was established, over 80 countries which were earlier under colonial rule became the rightful UN members. The UN played a pivotal role in the decolonization process by defining the goals and norms which, in their turn, helped the colonized countries and their peoples to gain independence. The Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples of 1960 became one of the UN’s most efficient instruments in this endeavour. It is no exaggeration to say that the Declaration has changed the world’s legal order forever. It gave a powerful impulse to the colonial territories’ movement for independence and stated the necessity of putting a speedy end to colonialism, thus becoming a true milestone in the decolonization process and one of the finest achievements of the UN’s work.