By Manny Cruz - For Variety
|Guam Governor Eddie Calvo|
“Despite Guam’s being one of the 17 non-self-governing territories recognized by the United Nations, our administering power, the United States, has yet to facilitate a visiting mission to our island,” the letter reads. Calvo agreed to sign the document at a Commission on Decolonization meeting ...
Commission members also requested the inclusion of an appendix detailing recent developments in the struggle for decolonization, such as a ruling by Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood of the District Court of Guam, in favor of Arnold “Dave” Davis, which deemed the island’s prospective plebiscite unconstitutional; and the subsequent appeal by Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson.
“While the court ruling currently hinders the ability of the native inhabitants of Guam to conduct a plebiscite on the island’s political status, we feel a visiting mission will draw attention to Guam’s current obstacles in achieving self-government,” the letter further states.
The Fourth Committee of the U.N. meets each October to take up the issue of the non-self-governing territories. Commission members encouraged Calvo to attend this year’s meeting to emphasize the island’s request for such a mission.
“This year is important because there is certain language in the Guam resolution which is far more critical about the U.S. militarizing Guam and interfering with the process of decolonization through the Davis case,” said commission member Michael Bevacqua. “It is important that we use that language to build a strong case for more international engagement about Guam, and in particular convince the U.N. to send a visiting mission to Guam to help expose our plight to the rest of the world.”
Calvo likewise expressed a desire to expedite the sending of the letter, so that international processes of approval can begin “as soon as possible,” he said.
“He’s planting an important seed,” said commission member Victoria Leon Guerrero.
The Commission on Decolonization also discussed the possibility of the creation of a curriculum writer position to spearhead efforts to bring political status education to Guam Department of Education classrooms as Guam edges closer to a long-delayed vote on self-determination.
“A DOE curriculum wouldn’t be too difficult to create, since all of the information is already there,” commission member Lisa Natividad said. “But we need someone who can compile and adapt the data to suit the needs of different grade levels.”