BUDPR Delivers Pro-Independence Message at United Nations Committee on Decolonization and Requests Specific Actions From the UN
The national advocacy organization BUDPR spoke of the double-edged sword of Congressional actions on status and of the need for the Committee on Decolonization, the UN, and individual nations to act.
JUNE 20, 2022 - NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Today, national advocacy organization Boricuas Unidos en la Diáspora (BUDPR) delivered a speech at the United Nations’ Special Committee on Decolonization 6th Plenary Session and called on the UN to act on Puerto Rico’s colonial status.
In her remarks, BUDPR collaborator and resident of Puerto Rico, Ms. Christina Mojica, spoke about the ongoing movement in the U.S. Congress that signals interest from the United States in moving decolonization forward. At the same time, she emphasized that the process risks repeating past mistakes and criticized the definitions set forth in the Puerto Rico Status Act that may create an artificial majority for a so-called “free association” status in which the U.S. Congress would still retain ultimate power.
Because the Committee on Decolonization and the UN should do more to tackle this issue, Ms. Mojica and BUDPR explicitly asked the committee to:
- Start a formal dialogue with the U.S. as an administrative power;
- Organize a visit and mission to Puerto Rico;
- Include this topic in the agenda of the Regional Annual Seminary in the Caribbean;
- Request a report from the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs on the state of procedural law applicable to Puerto Rico; and
- Recommend to the Fourth Commission that it include the case of Puerto Rico in its agenda.
Ms. Mojica and BUDPR also asked the ministries of foreign affairs of member states to instruct their diplomatic corps to formally recognize during the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) that Puerto Rico never ceased being a colony, and to communicate to the U.S. State Department that it is unacceptable for the United States Government to include any territorial option in present or future decolonization processes, in total disregard for international law and standards.
BUDPR emphasized that true decolonization means becoming independent of the imperial power—not being absorbed by it. Ms. Mojica’s remarks highlighted that pro-statehood Puerto Ricans share commonalities with the colonial elites of Africa and Asia who were eager to preserve the privileges of a few even as their nations fought for independence from European imperial powers.
“We will keep talking about our decolonization and independence at the United Nations and internationally,” said Ms. Mojica in her remarks. Puerto Ricans’ dignified reactions show that we are undeterred by the enormity of the fight. We have endured hurricanes, the imposition of a colonial board, and the plunder of our national wealth in violation of Human Rights Law. We are inspired by the many nations who have liberated themselves from the violence of colonialism, who have shown that this can be done, and we urge the former colonies of the world to help us in this struggle.”
BUDPR Co-founder Daniel Vázquez added: “The Committee should be wary of confused statehooders, who have come here in an ironic act of desperation. They are led by a discredited former governor that the people threw out and they have for decades openly ridiculed the UN, which they believe should not intervene in Puerto Rican matters or ever contradict whatever the U.S. dictates.”