GA 4: Special Political and Decolonisation

A US soldier searching for mines during an exercise. Flickr: The U.S. Army. CC BY 2.0.

Officially known as the Fourth Committee, The Special Political and Decolonisation (SPECPOL) committee deals with political issues and questions surrounding current decolonisation processes. It also discusses topics that are outside of the direct mandate of the other main committees within the General Assembly. It was the principal committee responsible for the Trusteeship Council until its dismantlement in the 1990s. It was soon after merged with the Special Political Committee. Although decolonisation today is a topic that is not very diverse – though can lead to intense debates, such as the ones about Falkland Islands (Malvinas) – the special political side of the committee allows for the discussion of a multitude of topics. Whereas the First Committee is more preoccupied with a potential arms race in outer space, the Fourth Committee discusses the broader and more general usage of outer space. The committee also has a focus on the Palestine-Israel conflict, human rights and peacekeeping, as well as atomic radiation – the latter particularly significant after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Topics, study guides and information about the chairpersons will be released in due course.