28 Jan 2003

American Samoa to remain on UN Decolonization Committee agenda

11:40 am on 28 January 2003

American Samoa's Governor, Tauese Sunia, says the territory will remain on the United Nations' list of 16 remaining world colonies as long as the United States government refuses to hold negotiations with the Decolonization Committee.

The UN voted last year to delist the territory provided the US State Department met UN officials to negotiate a final agreement.

However, Washington has refused to do so, maintaining that American Samoa was never a colony but an integral part of the United States.

Tause says the signing of the agreement would have been an admission by the United States of American Samoa's status as a colony.

The territory was ceded to the United States government under a deed of cession with Samoan chiefs in April 1900.