27 September 2011

Guam Commission on Decolonization convenes to initiate self-determination process


 Guam decolonization meeting held 

HAGÅTÑA (Office of the Guam Governor) — Gov. Eddie Calvo last Friday convened the Commission on Decolonization for the first time in about a decade.

Trini Torres makes a point to fellow members of the Decolonization Committee during its Friday meeting. Photo shows, from left, Piti Mayor Ben Gumataotao, Joe Garrido, Torres, Senators Aline Yamashita and Rory Respicio, commission chairman Ed Alvarez, Gov. Eddie B. Calvo, and Speaker Judi Won Pat. Photo by Matt WeissCalvo also signed a letter to President Obama announcing the commission’s plans to seek political self-determination.

“Times have changed since the last time this commission met. I suggest we set up various groups within our organization to go out into the community and identify what the needs and wants of the people are today,” Calvo said. “We’ve got to look at the social, political and economic aspects of this initiative and how it will affect us today.”

On the table for discussion were issues such as funding for a delegation to represent Guam at an upcoming United Nations meeting as well as an agenda for an upcoming visit from Dr. Carlyle Corbin, an expert on decolonization.

“We don’t need to look far to understand the degree of success and failure when exploring our options,” Calvo stated. “Whether it’s free association, statehood or independence, the people of Guam really need to come together to think these issues through and ultimately decide what is going to be the best course of action.”

Guam is one of 16 non-self-governing territories identified by the United Nations. UN Resolution No. 1514, signed in 1960, affirms that at all non-self-governing territories have the right to self-determination.

Members of the Commission on Decolonization voted to schedule regular meetings every first and third Friday of the month.