The Fourth Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations is the Special Political and
Decolonization Committee, otherwise known as SPECPOL . Established in 1993, SPECPOL is the combination of the Decolonization Committee (formerly the Fourth Committee) and the Special Political Committee. This committee’s inception took place in 1990 when the United Nations established 1990-2000 as the “International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.” This was particularly important considering at the time of the United Nation’s creation, 750 million people lived in what would be considered to be a colonized territory. Over eighty former colonies have become independent since 1945. Today, in part due to the work of the Fourth Committee, this number has drastically decreased to approximately two million, an amount SPECPOL is still determined to address.
According to its mandate, the Fourth Committee can discuss issues such as self-determination, decolonization, and peacekeeping efforts. While SPECPOL was derived from the Disarmament and International Security Committee, it takes on issues that the First Committee does not address, as well as looking at topics with a wider scope. . The committee’s foremost goal is to ensure that all countries enjoy the benefits of the independence to which they are entitled, and only when all countries are economically, culturally, and socially liberated can the world move forward.