At the closing of the Pacific Regional Seminar on Decolonisation in New Caledonia last week, the American Samoa Governor, Togiola Tulafono, called for the UN Committee not to focus solely on the political decolonisation of the territories.
American Samoa wants to be removed from the decolonisation list, which also includes Guam, New Caledonia, Pitcairn and Tokelau.
Togiola says a thorough examination of decolonisation, especially in small island states, shows that these states often remain highly dependent on their former administering power for economic survival.
He said this is economic colonisation.
The governor told the committee that for decolonisation to be meaningful, states must have the ability to provide for themselves and make their own way in the world.
Togiola says this economic decolonisation may ultimately prove to be more challenging than decolonising politically.