||Since the establishment of the UN, 80 former colonies have gained independence. However, in recent years, there have been a lot of different views on the current role of the UN in the decolonization process. The criticism mainly addresses the Special Committee on
Decolonization, but there is also criticism on the working of the UN in general. There are three types of criticism. The first is the fact that the decolonization process is out-dated, because the Special Committee has to stick to a mandate created in 1960, when there was still a lot of colonialism. The notion is that the colonies that are left can not be treated the same.
The second is the fact that the there is a one-size-fits all approach to decolonization. This means that there are only three options in which the remaining non self-governing territories can be removed from the list. The third criticism on the decolonization process at the UN holds that Western interests are still seen as the most important and the non self-governing territories are decolonized according to a Western model. This criticism comes mainly from scholars, but also from member states and UN officials. Because of the fact that the criticism is so widespread and comes also from member states, the UN should do something with it.
The criticism has risen in recent years because of the stagnation of the decolonization process. The stagnation occurred although there were special Decades for the Eradication of Colonialism, and these were thus seen as failed. This research examines to what extent the UN, and the Special Committee on Decolonization in particular, has handled the criticism on role of the UN in the decolonization process in the past ten years. It links the criticism with one of the remaining non selfgoverning territories. The case study is Tokelau, which is a small island territory of which New Zealand is the administering country. Tokelau is a non self-governing territory that did not face any internal problems. It is therefore very useful for this research, because then the main focus can on the working of the UN.