Since the 18th of May 2015 the Council of Elders (COE) assisted by the Norfolk Island People for Democracy (NIPD), the Hands Up Group, and more than 68% of the Islands’ residents have been working to uphold the rights of ALL of the Norfolk Island people to give them their genuine and democratic say in their future. While we are currently progressing a number of jointly agreed initiatives we would like to focus today’s message on our primary and non-negotiable initiative to have Norfolk Island ‘Listed’ as a ‘Non-Self-Governing-Territory’ with the United Nations.
We have already completed the preliminary stages of the Listing process, which included amongst other things:
• A confirmatory Joint Legal Opinion by Professor Vaughan Lowe QC and Dr Christopher Ward SC which confirmed what we already knew, namely that “Norfolk Island is a Non-Self-Governing Territory within the meaning of Article 73 of the United Nations Charter”,
• A prerequisite study into the ethnic and cultural distinctiveness of the Norfolk Island People by Emeritus Professor Peter Mulhausler which confirmed what we already knew, namely that “the Norfolk Island People are distinct ethnically and/or culturally from the country administering it”
• A prerequisite study into the geographical separateness of Norfolk Island by Dr Ceaira Cottle which confirmed what we already knew, namely that “Norfolk Island is geographically separate from the country administering it”, and
• Prerequisite formal Petition to the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation to have Norfolk Island ‘Listed’ as a ‘Non-Self-Governing-Territory’ with the United Nations which also confirmed what we already knew, namely that “There is no doubt that Norfolk Island satisfies the requirements for listing set out in the ‘principles’ contained in Resolution 1541 of December 1960”.
Since the completion of the above matters we have been focusing our efforts on the next stage of the process. It was in this regard that on the 22nd of June 2018 we announced that Dr Carlyle Corbin, International Advisor on Governance, had agreed to conduct a Self-Governance Assessment to examine the current governance arrangements of Norfolk Island and its level of compliance with the requirements of the full measure of self-government on the basis of recognised international standards.
Today we are very pleased to announce that we have taken another huge step toward self-determination for the Norfolk Island people with the completion of Dr Corbin’s Self-Governance Assessment (SGA) which also confirmed what we already knew, namely that “1) the previous governance model of Elected Dependency Governance did not meet the recognised international standards for the full measure of self-government through autonomous governance, and that 2) the current Appointed Dependency Governance model presently does not meet the recognised international standards for the full measure of self-government through integrated governance. The prevailing arrangement which has been unilaterally imposed represents a denial of the right to self-determination of the peoples of Norfolk Island.”
We are also pleased to announce that Dr Corbin has welcomed the opportunity to visit Norfolk Island in the coming months. His travel dates will be confirmed over the next few weeks and we will be making a further announcement to let you know how you can meet Dr Corbin and learn more about Norfolk’s pathway to ‘Listing’ and his critically important Self-Governance Assessment