When the United Nations was established in 1945, 750 million people - almost a third of the world's population - lived in Territories that were non-self-governing, dependent on colonial Powers. After World War 2 ended the process of decolonization began. However, to speed it up, in 1960, the UN adopted the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples more commonly known as the Declaration on decolonization. To monitor implementation of the Declaration and to make recommendations on its application, in 1962, the UN formed the Special Committee on Decolonization. Later, once less than 2 million people lived in such non-self-governing Territories and the Trusteeship system had been dismantled, the UN expanded the horizons of the special political committee and merged it with the Fourth Committee.
This created the Fourth General Assembly also known as the Special Political and Decolonization (SPECPOL) Committee, which tackles issues pertaining to the effects of atomic radiation, questions relating to information, a comprehensive review of the question of peacekeeping operations as well as a review of special political missions. It further receives reports from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Special Committee on Israeli Practices and International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. In addition to this, the Committee also assists in mine dismantlement, and negotiating for peace between nations.