The text —introduced by Senegal on behalf of the bloc of African countries— recalled that the International Court of Justice issued a landmark opinion 25 February 2019 urging the United Kingdom to leave the territory and transfer its sovereignty to the Republic of Mauritius.
The UK government had previously said that it does not intend to decolonize the archipelago while it considers that holding the military base of Diego Garcia there —which is leased to the United States— remains valuable for its interests.
The inhabitants of Chagos were expelled between 1968 and 1973 to build the base, and have since remained in exile.
Neither yesterday’s resolution nor the ICJ opinion are binding. The Guardian however says that the result is a “crushing defeat” for the European country, and wonders whether to what extent is the UK’s international reputation being hurt by London’s stance in the dispute.