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Participants of the “Neocolonialism: Human Rights, Peace and Security” Conference in Geneva Adopt Final Declaration

The international conference on “Neocolonialism: human rights, peace and security”, organized by the Baku Initiative Group at the UN Geneva office, has adopted the final declaration.

AZERTAC presents the declaration: “On December 14, 1960, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 1514 (XV) called the “Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples” on the initiative of countries that had just gained sovereignty.

Prior to this resolution, resolution 637 (VII) “On the right of peoples to self-determination” had been adopted on December 16, 1952.

Sixty-three years after the December 14, 1960 Resolution, representatives of the population of the last colonial countries (Polynesia, New Caledonia, Martinique, French Guiana, Guadalupe, Corsica, Mayotte) occupied by the French empire, those of former colonies of Senegal and Algeria and participants from about 15 other countries came together to confirm the continuation of the colonial system and to condemn the policy of France, which claims to champion freedom and democracy but actually violates fundamental human rights itself.

The struggle of millions of people from Africa and Asia, who forced Europe to put an end to direct colonialism, as well as a handful of strong states with a colonial history and their partners flagrantly and continuously violating fundamental human rights, have established and maintained a world order in which a large part of the planet was subjected to economic, financial, political, military and cultural domination.

The international law based on the selfish interests, brutal force and a policy of double standards of these powers is actually an example of structural inequalities and unreasonable injustices that affect the people under colonial and neocolonial yoke.

I. Representatives of the last colonial countries of France – French Guiana, Martinique, Guadalupe, Polynesia, New Caledonia, Corsica, those of the former colonies of Senegal and Algeria, as well as participants from about 15 other countries got together on the initiative of the Baku Initiative Group in Geneva on December 14, 2023 to condemn the detrimental deeds of the French colonial system, which continues its actual domination over overseas departments, regions and collectives, and characterize the continuation of this domination in the following way:

– Excessive food dependency of the population in the interests of French monopolies (more than 80 percent of food comes from France); implementation of a thought-out poor economic development strategy in relevant countries; poverty (50 percent of the population of French Guiana lives in poverty) and widespread unemployment; implementation of all sorts of abuse (violence, weapons and drug trafficking);

– Violation of fundamental human rights of local peoples of French Guiana;

– The policy of assimilation, which promotes the institutions of French cultural hegemony and pushes the gradually disappearing local languages into the background, the French curriculum for our children that does not correspond to the history, geography, culture and ambitions of our peoples for the future;

– The seizure of land (90 percent of French Guiana belongs to the French state), the control over millions of square kilometers of our Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) (which makes France the second biggest maritime state in the world with 11 million square meters of EEZ), the decades of the policy of deportation of our youth to France, which greatly contributed to an unprecedented demographic crisis in Guadeloupe and Martinique, and the plundering of natural resources;

– The creation of a two-tier colonial justice system that criminalizes any resistance movements and protects bribe-takers under the guise of the French rule of law (chlordecone poisoning in Martinique and Guadeloupe and the arrest of young people who fought against land seizures, creative of excusive jurisdiction over the Corsicans who were tried without a recognition of their status as political prisoners and were treated unfairly in the conditions of imprisonment);

– Numerous violations of the right to life, such as the difficulties with access to drinking water in Guadeloupe and Mayotte, the major healthcare scandal involving chlordecone poisoning of 92 percent of the population of Guadeloupe and Martinique, the crime of nuclear testing in Muruoa and Fangataufa, and the massive mercury pollution of river water in Guyana;

– Without any consultation with our people whatsoever, the use by western powers of the Indo-Pacific zone (Polynesia, New Caledonia), as well as the Caribbean-American zone (French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe) and Corsica (Solenzara base) as geostrategic military bases in preparations for war;

II. On December 14, 1960, within the framework of a commemoration ceremony of the “Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples”, representatives of the last French colonies, realizing their responsibility to history and their people,

– Adopted an official appeal to the United Nations, international organizations and peoples of all continents, calling for a more tangible contribution to put a decisive end to colonialism and neocolonialism, which constitute a flagrant violation of fundamental human rights, hinder the development of peoples, the well-being of nations and peace among peoples and in essence constitute a flagrant violation of fundamental human rights;

– Demand just compensation for the crimes committed by the colonial policy against the indigenous peoples in colonial countries and transatlantic slavery that led to the deportation of millions of enslaved Africans in the Caribbean and the Americas;

– Support the appeal of the FLNKS to the International Court of Justice and the mobilization of the Kanak people against the French state to exercise their inalienable rights to national independence; support the inclusion or relisting of the peoples of Martinique, Guadeloupe, Corsica and French Guiana in the list of countries to be decolonized;

– The people of Polynesia, who are faced with the crime of nuclear testing, express their solidarity with the restoration of justice and compensation for the people of Martinique and Guadeloupe for the crime of chlordecone poisoning the French state is fully responsible for as it allowed the use of chlordecone despite the fact that it has been banned for several decades and is highly carcinogenic.

– In the context of the risks of war, they call for global demilitarization in the interests of peace and the abolition of French bases in the Pacific and Caribbean colonies;

– They insist on respecting the fundamental economic, social and political rights of women, which is one of the most important conditions for the progress of our planet and human emancipation;

III. In a global context full of ongoing and future disasters that may occur as a result of wars, rising international tensions, a resumption of the arms race, global warming, ongoing geostrategic upheavals, the Baku Initiative Group and representatives of nations under colonial and neo-colonial rule

– Welcome the struggle of the peoples of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger to get rid of the looting of their wealth and French imperialist rule;

– Call for genuine global cooperation between peoples based on justice, rejection of domination, mutual respect and human solidarity.

IV. All participants of the meeting held in Geneva heartily congratulate the Republic of Azerbaijan, which has been entrusted to host COP-29 next year. They are convinced that Azerbaijan will take into account the challenges of global warming and decolonization within the framework of this global event of great importance to for the future of our planet.”