13 July 2015

U.N. Committee calls on U.S. to fund Guam political status campaign

Territory's representative, expert addressed 
2015 United Nations Decolonization Seminar in May 

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The Question of Guam
U.N. Decolonization Committee 
June 2015

Resolution adopted by the 
Special Committee on Decolonization

Taking note of the working paper prepared by the Secretariat on Guam and other relevant information,

Noting the statement made by the representative of the Governor of Guam at the Caribbean regional seminar held in Managua from 19 to 21 May 2015, in which he presented an update on the efforts of Guam towards decolonization, including by securing funding for the public education programme on self-determination, and on the engagement of the Guam Commission on Decolonization for the Implementation and Exercise of Chamorro Self-Determination in reinforcing public awareness in order to address the limited and distorted understanding of decolonization,

Noting also the concern expressed by the representative of the Governor about the reinstatement of a lawsuit challenging the voting restrictions for the Territory’s plebiscite on self-determination,

Cognizant of the efforts made by the Guam Commission on Decolonization to promote in the Territory the holding of a plebiscite on self-determination, to populate the decolonization registry, as required by public law, to enhance the ability to expediently register those who have not yet been registered and to identify and secure territorial and federal resources for a self-determination education programme,

Aware that, under United States law, the relations between the territorial Government and the federal Government in all matters that are not the programme responsibility of another federal department or agency are under the general administrative supervision of the Secretary of the Interior,

Recalling that, in a referendum held in 1987, the registered and eligible voters of Guam endorsed a draft Guam Commonwealth Act that would establish a new framework for relations between the Territory and the administering Power, providing for a greater measure of internal self-government for Guam and recognition of the right of the Chamorro people of Guam to self-determination for the Territory,

Aware that negotiations between the administering Power and the territorial Government on the draft Guam Commonwealth Act ended in 1997 and that Guam has subsequently established a non-binding plebiscite process for a self-determination vote by the eligible Chamorro voters,

Cognizant of the importance of the administering Power continuing to implement its programme of transferring surplus federal land to the Government of Guam,

Noting that the people of the Territory have called for reform in the programme of the administering Power with respect to the thorough, unconditional and expeditious transfer of land property to the people of Guam,

Aware of the deep concern expressed by civil society and other parties regarding the potential social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts of the planned transfer of additional military personnel of the administering Power to the Territory, 

Conscious that immigration into Guam has resulted in the indigenous Chamorros becoming a minority in their homeland,

1. Welcomes the convening of the Guam Commission on Decolonization for the Implementation and Exercise of Chamorro Self-Determination and its ongoing work on a self-determination vote, as well as its public education efforts;

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2. Stresses that the decolonization process in Guam should be compatible with the Charter of the United Nations, the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

3. Calls once again upon the administering Power to take into consideration the expressed will of the Chamorro people as supported by Guam voters in the referendum of 1987 and as subsequently provided for in Guam law regarding Chamorro self-determination efforts, encourages the administering Power and the territorial Government to enter into negotiations on the matter, and stresses the need for continued close monitoring of the overall situation in the Territory;

4. Requests the administering Power, in cooperation with the territorial Government, to continue to transfer land to the original landowners of the Territory, to continue to recognize and to respect the political rights and the cultural and ethnic identity of the Chamorro people of Guam and to take all measures necessary to address the concerns of the territorial Government with regard to the question of immigration;

5. Also requests the administering Power to assist the Territory by facilitating public outreach efforts, including through the funding of the public education campaign, consistent with Article 73 b of the Charter, and in that regard calls upon the relevant United Nations organizations to provide assistance to the Territory, if requested, and welcomes the recent outreach work by the territorial Government;

6. Further requests the administering Power to cooperate in establishing programmes for the sustainable development of the economic activities and enterprises of the Territory, noting the special role of the Chamorro people in the development of Guam.