29 June 2012

Communiqué de Victorin Lurel: "rétablir la stabilité financière de la collectivité"

Tahiti Infos

Le Ministre des outre-mer, Victorin Lurel a reçu aujourd’hui Oscar TEMARU, Président de la Polynésie française, en présence des représentants du ministre de l’économie, des finances et du commerce extérieur et du ministre délégué au budget, afin d’aborder la situation financière de la collectivité. 

Cette rencontre s’inscrit dans la volonté du Gouvernement, en cohérence avec les engagements du président de la République, de renouer les relations entre l’Etat et la Polynésie française dans un cadre apaisé et constructif. Les consultations entre le cabinet du ministre et le gouvernement de la Polynésie Française entamées dès le 1er juin dernier, ont permis d’établir un diagnostic partagé et un calendrier de travail destiné à rétablir la stabilité financière de la collectivité. 
Plusieurs points ont été abordés lors de cette réunion de travail : 

- Une partie de la dotation exceptionnelle de 50ME prévue par la LFR 2011 sera libérée très rapidement afin de permettre à la Polynésie française de faire face aux difficultés de trésorerie qu’elle connait actuellement. 

- La mise en oeuvre du plan de redressement adopté en 2011 par l’assemblée polynésienne sera poursuivie et accélérée afin d’assurer le rétablissement des comptes publics polynésiens et de mettre en oeuvre les réformes structurelles annoncées, notamment en matière de fiscalité, d’organisation administrative et de stratégie de développement. 

- Le Ministre Lurel a affirmé la disponibilité de l’AFD pour accompagner les projets de développement de la Polynésie Française et les mesures de redressement mises en oeuvre par le gouvernement polynésien. 

Enfin, il a été convenu qu’un comité de suivi associant l’Etat et la Polynésie française serait réuni régulièrement afin de faire les points d’étapes nécessaires sur l’état d’avancement du plan de redressement. Ces mesures permettront à la Polynésie française de renouer avec la confiance, la croissance et le développement économique.

28 June 2012

Marshall Islands Displacement from Nuclear Contamination a concern of United Nations Special Rapporteur

UN expert warns of situation faced by Marshall Islands citizens affected by nuclear tests

Final Report due in September 2012


 Calin Georgescu, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights 
and toxic waste. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

A “durable solution” has yet to be found to the displacement of communities affected by nuclear testing more than sixty years ago in the Marshall Islands, a United Nations independent expert warned today. 

“I have listened to the concerns and stories of affected communities from Bikini, Enewetak, Rongelap and Utrik. As a result of the nuclear testing, all of these communities have suffered dislocation, in one form or another, from their indigenous way of life,” said the Special Rapporteur on the human rights obligations related to environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and waste, Calin Georgescu.   

 From 1946 to 158, some 67 nuclear weapons tests were carried out in the Marshall Islands, which were then administered by the United States under trusteeship arrangements with the UN. 

Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not United Nations staff, nor are they paid for their work. 

Mr. Georgescu, who just finished the first fact-finding mission to the Marshall Islands by special rapporteur, said many communities “feel like ‘nomads’ in their own country and many have suffered long-term health effects.” 

The expert underlined the need for strategic and long-term measures to tackle the consequences of the nuclear testing programme to ensure sustainable progress and cope with the specific challenges posed by climate change in the country. He urged the Government of the Marshall Islands, the United States and the international community to find effective ways to redress the situation for those affected. 

“The affected communities are searching for solutions, but are yet to feel that they have been restored to a position that is any way equivalent to the life they and their families lived before this dislocation,” Mr. Georgescu said. “Each of the communities from these four affected atolls has a unique history in relation to the nuclear testing and each needs its own solutions.” 

Mr. Georgescu stressed that education will be key for the long-term survival of the country, as there will be an increasing need to sustainably preserve the cultural and environmental heritage of the country, including the Bikini Atoll which has been declared a World Heritage site by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 

During his four-day mission, Mr. Georgescu met with President Christopher J. Loeak, as well as with government representatives, ministers, senators, high-level officials, experts, academics, civil society, local communities and members of the press.

Mr. Georgescu is due to present his final report to the Human Rights Council in September.

Independence for Scotland discussed at University of Glasgow

The Scottish Government

Scotland’s Constitution – A means to an end

Independence is only the vehicle to a more prosperous Scotland, (said) the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
However, what will determine our success as a nation are our assets, talents, skills and the quality of our leadership.
Giving a lecture at the University of Glasgow School of Law, Nicola Sturgeon focused on the reasons Scotland should become an independent nation and what could be achieved rather than on the mechanics of holding a referendum.
Speaking at the Sir Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre, the Deputy First Minister said:
“I have never believed that independence is an end in itself. I want Scotland to be independent because I believe that it is the best way to further Scottish interests.
“Independence will give Scotland the opportunity to make different decisions and to implement policies designed for its own needs in every area. In welfare as well as health, the economy as well as education.
“In the past the union would have been seen as not just the creator but also the guarantor of the values and vision of the post-war welfare state. Today, many see that it is the union, under the Westminster government, that poses the biggest threat to these values and that vision.
“Only through devolution has the Scottish Government been able to protect the values of our national health service and ensure that it can meet the needs of people in Scotland. Unlike its counterpart in England, the NHS in Scotland will remain a public service, paid for by the public and accountable to the public.  There will be no privatisation of the National Health Service in Scotland.
“Independence would give us the power not only to protect Scotland from policies that offend our sense of decency and social cohesion. It would also allow us to build a fairer Scotland.
“What independence does is put our destiny firmly in our own hands. It gives us the ability to take the decisions that matter, to ensure that our talents and our resources work to the benefit of our people.”

27 June 2012


                                                         Al Jazeera

Jennifer Robinson 
 London-based human rights lawyer

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

 In the 1960s, West Papuans were sacrificed in the name of Cold War politics - and the UN did nothing about it.

Jennifer Robinson
  London, United Kingdom - Thousands have taken part in rallies across West Papua and in Australia to mark the UN Secretary-General's (UNSG) visit to Indonesia, calling on Ban Ki-moon to revisit UN mistakes that lead to the denial of West Papuans' right to self-determination and to assist in resolving ongoing human rights abuses in Papua.
 UN peacekeeping was at the top of the agenda of the UNSG's visit to Indonesia on Tuesday. West Papua was not, but many argue that it should be. After all, West Papuans are asking that the UN revisit its first - and flawed - administration of a post-conflict society. Observers hailed the success of the UN administration of East Timor and its successful transition to independence.

But few are aware of the UN's failure in its first attempt at administration in West Papua more than 40 years earlier. East Timor got a democratic vote. West Papua got a sham vote. East Timor got independence. West Papua became part of Indonesia - against its will and in breach of its right to self-determination under the UN Charter. 

Had the UN properly discharged its mandate back then, West Papuans would have celebrated more than 40 years of independence instead of having endured nearly 50 years of oppression. In that time, it is estimated that as many as 500,000 Papuans have been killed at the hands of Indonesian security forces. Yale and Sydney Universities report that the situation is approaching genocide. Papuan activists campaigning for self-determination are routinely arrested and jailed for peacefully expressing their political opinions.

The recent conviction of the Jayapura Five - including Forkorus Yaboisembut, a Papuan tribal leader - drew international condemnation from lawyers and human rights groups. Speaking from prison, Yaboisembut - a recognised political prisoner - called upon Ban Ki-moon to organise peace talks with Indonesia and to use his visit to Jakarta's new Peacekeeping Centre to negotiate the release of all political prisoners in Indonesia.

 The UNSG made no public supportive comments about West Papua during his visit.
But he may have been dissuaded from doing so given the controversy caused by his comments at the Pacific Islands Forum last September.

Controversy over West Papua

At the Forum, Ban was pressed to support peaceful dialogue between West Papua and Indonesia, to put an end to human rights violations, and "to find a strategy to get Indonesia out of a land that isn't theirs". In response to media questions, Ban said that West Papua should be discussed at the Decolonisation Committee of the UN General Assembly. He emphasised that the UN would "do all to ensure" that human rights will be respected in West Papua and that "whether you are an independent state or a non-self-governing territory or whatever, the human right is inalienable and a fundamental principle of the United Nations".

Ban's comments implicitly recognise that there is a legitimate case for review of West Papua's legal status, as well as an acknowledgment that there is basis for concern regarding the human rights situation. West Papuans welcomed Ban's comments in the belief that, after a long history of UN betrayal, the UN may finally act in their interests and protect their rights under the UN Charter.

The UN act in accordance with the UN Charter? Seems a pretty reasonable expectation. But, sadly, Ban's comments were highly controversial - representing "a remarkable shift" by the UN chief on West Papua since Ban was "the first head of the UN to come out and say that". Fifteen human rights and social justice movements immediately called on Ban to appoint a special UN representative to investigate alleged human rights violations in West Papua and its political status.

But the shift in position was apparently too radical to countenance. Days later, and no doubt in response to Indonesian complaints, an unnamed "Official Spokesperson for the Secretary-General" announced in New York that his "off-the-cuff response may have led to the misunderstanding that he was suggesting the matter of Papua should be placed on the agenda of the Decolonisation Committee. The Secretary-General wishes to clarify that this was not his intention." While the correction let stand the UNSG's apparent endorsement of the need for the UN to "do all to ensure" human rights are protected in West Papua, no action has yet been taken.

It appears the UN has let West Papua down - and this is not the first time.

The UN's history in West Papua

West Papua is the western half of the island of New Guinea, just 300 km north of Australia. The other, better-known half of the island is the independent state of Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Melanesian peoples of West Papua and PNG share similar ethnicities, cultures and religions. It is merely their different colonial past that sets them apart.

West Papua (then West New Guinea) was colonised by the Dutch, but for convenience's sake was loosely administered as part of the Dutch East Indies - modern-day Indonesia. When Indonesia obtained independence after World War II, West New Guinea remained under Dutch control and was prepared for independence, as was PNG by Australia. West Papua was a Dutch colony and Non-Self Governing Territory on the path to independence. More than 50 years ago, on December 1, 1961, West Papuans raised their flag and sang their national anthem as they formally announced their independence from the Dutch.

Soon after, Indonesia invaded with political support and arms from the USSR. The US - concerned about losing Indonesia to the Russians and keen to secure lucrative mining contracts - intervened. Under US pressure, the Dutch agreed to a UN- and US-brokered settlement, the New York Agreement of 1962, providing for a UN-supervised Indonesian administration and vote for self-determination by which Papuans could choose independence or integration with Indonesia.

West Papuans were not consulted.

Under the terms of the agreement, West Papua was transferred by the Netherlands to a United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA). Between 1962 and 1963, UNTEA had full authority to administer the territory, to maintain law and order, and to protect the rights of the West Papuans. The territory was then transferred to Indonesian administration in 1963, but on condition that it remained under UN supervision until the vote for self-determination in 1969.

Media reports from around the world at that time highlighted the need for UN vigilance in ensuring a free and fair vote. In 1962, one editorial emphasised, "there is no doubt at all about the United Nations' responsibility under the agreement - quite apart from its moral responsibility - to ensure the Papuans are allowed to exercise a free choice" and that responsibility "should need no stressing".

But the UN turned a blind eye - both to human rights abuse and the fact the voting practices did not meet international standards. The 1969 "Act of 'Free' Choice" is popularly known as the "Act of 'NO' Choice". A handpicked group of 1,022 West Papuans were coerced, under threat of violence, into voting unanimously for integration with Indonesia.

During the period of UN supervision and in the lead-up to the vote, the Indonesian military is estimated to have been responsible for the deaths of 30,000 West Papuans. Frank Galbraith, US Ambassador to Indonesia at the time, warned that Indonesian military operations "had stimulated fears… of intended genocide". Australian journalist and eye-witness Hugh Lunn reported that Papuans carrying signs saying "one man, one vote" in protest against the voting procedures were arrested and jailed. Others were killed.

The UN was aware of the repression - but did nothing about it. And, worse, it collaborated with Indonesia to prevent international criticism.

 Papuans concerned over renewed US-Indonesia military ties

Meantime, the US and Indonesia were busy carving up West Papua's rich natural resources. Having signed concession agreements with US mining company Freeport in 1967, two years before the scheduled vote, Indonesia had no intention of allowing West Papuan independence (Freeport is a major contributor to Indonesia's GDP, and Kissinger was later rewarded with a place on Freeport's board).

The US agreed, but diplomatic cables reveal that it was worried that UN members might "hold out for free and direct elections" (as required by international law), frustrating Indonesia's intentions. The US discussed the need to meet with the UN Representative, Ortiz Sanz, to "make him aware of political realities" but later reported, with relief, that Ortiz conceded "that it would be inconceivable from the point of view of the interest of the UN, as well as the [Indonesian government], that a result other than the continuance of West Irian within [Indonesia]". In July 1969, a US diplomatic cable reported that the "Act of Free Choice... is unfolding like a Greek tragedy, the conclusion preordained".

West Papuans were sacrificed in the name of Cold War politics and natural resources. 

UN officials admitted in private that 95 per cent of Papuans supported independence. But as UN Representative Ortiz Sanz told Australian journalist Hugh Lunn, "West [Papua] is like a cancerous growth on the side of the UN and my job is to surgically remove it". And remove it he did. In 1969, Sanz reported the vote's outcome to the UN General Assembly, noting only that "Indonesian" and not "international" voting practice was adopted. West Papua formally became a province of Indonesia.

Former UN Under-Secretary General Narasimhan has since admitted the process was a "whitewash". British diplomatic correspondence admitted "the process of consultation did not allow a genuinely free choice to be made". Distinguished international jurists dismiss the 1969 vote as a "spurious exercise", amounting to a substantive betrayal of the principle of self-determination.

Yet no action has been taken by the UN - or the international community - to redress this injustice. A growing number of international parliamentarians are calling upon their governments, through the UN, to give effect to West Papua's right to self-determination. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a supporter of West Papua's campaign to have the UNSG instigate a review, has asserted, "[a] strong United Nations will be capable of, among other things, acknowledging and correcting its mistakes".

Rights groups have urged the UNSG to appoint a Special Representative to investigate the situation in West Papua, including the outcome of the 1969 "Act of Free Choice" and the contemporary situation, and ask that he use his good offices to negotiate the release of political prisoners and persuade the Indonesian government to lift the ban on access to West Papua for international organisations and journalists.

But will Ban Ki-moon act?

No UN action forthcoming - yet

Since his comments last September, the UNSG has remained silent on West Papua. At his talk in Indonesia on March 20, Ban recalled his own experience as a young boy in South Korea - where he said that UN peacekeepers had been "the beacon of hope" for his people.

Like Ban, the people of West Papua once saw UN peacekeepers as their hope. But as Dr John Saltford, author of The United Nations and the Indonesian Takeover of West Papua, 1962-1969: The Anatomy of Betrayal, has said: "The Papuans had a great deal of trust in the UN, and the UN betrayed them and continues to betray them because, so far, it has refused to review its position on the issue."

As the Human Rights Council is preparing for Indonesia's Universal Periodic Review, submissions have poured in with evidence of widespread human rights abuse in West Papua - evidence that many hope will spur the UN into action. But given its history on West Papua, should Papuans place further hope in the UN?

The UNSG's remarks in Indonesia this week also urged hope in the UN, drawing on his own experience in South Korea: "Please have a bigger sense of hope, don't despair! It may be very difficult for you. But look at me. As a young boy, I was very poor. [South Korea was] almost on the verge of collapse… But because there was the United Nations, because there is still the United Nations, you can have hope... This is my message to you."

Let's hope he is not encouraging more false hope from West Papuans in the UN. Let's hope the UN will act - because if it does not, then it is simply not the organisation that its leader believes in.


Pacific expert discusses the 'new players' in the Pacific Region

Cover Report: The New Players in the Region
Pacific diplomacy boosts links with new friends

Nic Maclellan 

Islands Business

Pacific nations are largely reliant on aid, trade and investment from traditional partners like Australia, New Zealand, United States, France and Japan. But in recent years, there has been increasing interest in finding new sources of development assistance, economic and political support. 

Pacific governments have been diversifying their political and economic links beyond the old regional groupings—led by France, United States and Australia/New Zealand—that dominated islands politics throughout the Cold War years. 
In the mid-1980s, PNG’s then Prime Minister Paias Wingti talked of a ‘Look North’ policy for his country, to extend relations beyond the old colonial ties with Australia. 

Today, Pacific Islands Forum countries are looking north-west, north-east and to other points of the compass. There is a growing interest in South–South cooperation and new countries are seeking the status of Post-Forum dialogue partner with the Pacific Islands Forum.

Read the full article in Islands Business.

26 June 2012

New Political Leader sees independence for Turks & Caicos Islands

     Ewing says TCI ready for independence
Vanessa Narine

NEWLY elected leader of the Progressive National Party (PNP), Dr. Rufus Ewing, contends that the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) is ready for independence.

Ewing, speaking at a press briefing at the PNP Headquarters..., noted that the party has taken a resolution to support the move towards independence.

He made it clear that the PNP is pro-independence and going forward any moves the party makes will take into consideration an independent TCI.

The PNP Leader acknowledged that there are a few things that can be improved on before the step towards independence is taken.

According to him, the people need to be educated on the pros and cons of independence. 

However, he reiterated that the TCI has long been ready to assert itself independent of the United Kingdom.

Ewing stated that before any decision is taken the views of the people have be taken into consideration, adding that the new PNP will move towards an approach that seeks to increasingly involve the people of the TCI in decision-making.

When asked about a possible timeframe for the attainment of independence, the PNP Leader noted that because this is something that needs to be approached strategically, setting a timeframe would be premature, particularly considering that the return to democratic rule has not been confirmed to happen this year.

Ewing said in going forward, independence has to be planned and strategically implemented in stages to achieve the vision leaders have for the TCI.

He maintains that independence is not to be rushed.

In a prior interview in April, Ewing made it clear that independence is ultimately up to the people, adding that developmental milestones that are advanced by an elected government will indicate the country’s readiness for independence.

“My duty is to prepare the people for that day,” he said then.


Former PNP Leader and retired politician Daniel Malcolm addressed the issue of independence in an interview with the Weekly News in the latter part of March.

He contends that the TCI is too young for independence, but noted that achieving a measure of self-determination is a move in the right direction.

“We are at least 10 years away from being ready for Independence…we must develop our country and our people so that when we move to Independence we will do so from a position of strength,” he said.

However, Malcolm, like Ewing, stressed that TCI must prepare for that eventuality down the road.

“Self-determination is where the government and the people of TCI, and other territories like us, make advances toward greater political, social and cultural determination or say within the framework of their own situation,” he posited.

The former PNP Leader was recently been invited to join the Special Committee of experts with regard to the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence of Colonial Countries and Peoples. 

This endeavour is supported by the Decolonization Unit of the Department of Political Affairs, which is part of the United Nations (UN) Secretariat, via monitoring the implementation of the Declaration, hearing statements from the non-self governing territories, organizing an annual regional seminar and making recommendations regarding the dissemination of information on the decolonization process.

Governor Ric Todd in addressing the issue of independence in the past has said unequivocally that the United Kingdom would grant independence to the TCI, if that were the choice made by the TC people. 


Letter: The changing landscape of TCI government

TCI News Now

by David Forbes

Dear Sir:

Permit me some space on your website to enlighten the people of the TCI to what is taking place under the interim administration. I also want to sensitize members of the Advisory Council and the Consultative Forum. 

When the PDM administration left office in 2003, all key positions in the government were localized, this continued under the PNP. Concerted efforts were made to train local people and build capacity among our people to ensure they are capable of doing their jobs. 

This development has been drastically reversed by the British over the past three years. Frankly speaking the actions of the British Government is tantamount to naked modern day racism.

The above strong statement is supported by the following analysis from TCIG press releases and other well-placed sources.

The results of these decisions are far reaching for any elected government and for the long term sustainable development of the TCI. This trend will also undermine any efforts towards independence. Both PNP and PDM are now talking about nation building. The PNP for certain is pledging to take the TCI independent. None of these proposals are feasible with the brain drain of TCI natives, the removal of local capacity and depriving the islands of an inner ability “to run its own affairs”. 

What will happen to all of these replacements after elections are completed and there is a localized Turks and Caicos government? Can this be considered a long-term trend of replacing career civil servants with these replacements? Mind you some of the persons going home were lazy and dysfunctional and probably should never have held such positions of responsibility in the first place. They in some limited cases almost justify these incorrect steps being taken by the interim government. 

By and large in all cases where bad apples are weeded out and the good ones going home, there are locals, natives, persons with huge experiences in government and education, who can replace the outgoing persons. Mr Governor, CEO, CFO, the Public Service Commission, which is supposedly “local” and has the final say, must know that these decisions cannot be justified on any level. In 60% of the cases here, you are all being totally racist. 

Finally, one must ask the British government a serious question: “Did you come to wipe out corruption of the former government or did you come to install a latter day apartheid system?”

25 June 2012

Turks & Caicos to return to 'elected dependency status' in November


Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague

By Hayden Boyce
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
Turks and Caicos Sun

General elections, which will return the Turks and Caicos Islands to self-rule, will be held on November 9, 2012. This was announced by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague in London on Tuesday June 12th.

“I am pleased to inform the House that the interim government in TCI, led by the Governor and supported by TCI and UK public servants and specialist advisers, has made significant progress with an ambitious reform programme. We now judge there has been sufficient progress, on the milestones and on putting in place robust financial controls, to set 9 November as the date for elections,” Hague said. The election announcement came two years and ten months after British imposed direct rule in this British Overseas Territory.

The calling of the elections was contingent on the Turks and Caicos Islands achieving eight milestones, seven of which Hague said “have been clearly met”. 

He said: “The fiscal milestone has not yet been met but the PFM and CFO ordinances increase our confidence that the budgeted surplus will be achieved. Over the next few months, in the run up to elections, the Interim Government will continue with the implementation and consolidation of reforms, in particular to strengthen the public sector and public finances, develop the economy, modernise legislation and make practical preparations to enable the elections to take place.” 

Regarding the implementation of budget measures to put the Turks and Caicos Islands Government on track to achieve a fiscal surplus in the financial year ending March 2013, Hague said this milestone has not yet been met as it is too early in the financial year to determine whether TCIG is on track to achieve a fiscal surplus. 

“Significant progress has however been made in helping to put the TCI Government on track,” he said. “While the US$26 million deficit in 2011/12 was considerably worse than the US$3 million originally budgeted, nevertheless this still represented a significant turnaround from a deficit in excess of US$70 million in 2010/11. 

The Governor has now enacted a Budget for 2012/13 that projects a surplus of US$20 million. Not only does this contain both prudent estimates of revenue and provision for contingencies, but these figures are the result of careful risk analysis led by the CFO and Permanent Secretary of Finance. Achieving the surplus will be challenging. The UK Government’s continued control over public finances means that we can, through the CFO, take steps during the year to correct the budget trajectory if it starts to go off course. This greatly adds to our confidence that the surplus can be achieved. We intend to keep progress on this milestone under close scrutiny.” 

Hague said the UK believes that democracy, whether in an independent country or in an Overseas Territory, provides a solid foundation on which to build an accountable and responsive state. 

“This belief underpins our work to advance democracy worldwide. We will support TCI to develop its democracy in line with our responsibility for security and good governance and our positive vision for our Overseas Territories,” he added.

On August 14, 2009, the British Government issued an Order in Council suspending ministerial government and the House of Assembly in the Turks and Caicos Islands, meaning that Cabinet will no longer exist and the House of Assembly is dissolved and Members’ seats are vacated. The constitutional right to trial by jury was also suspended.

Two main political parties, the Progressive National Party (PNP) and the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) will be contesting the elections, vying for ten constituency seats and five At-Large.

Meantime, Under Secretary Henry Bellingham, who last visited the TCI in 2011, hosted meetings with members of the Consultative Forum, Advisory Council and Permanent Secretaries before the Press Conference. 

U.K. To Hold Purse Strings For Years After Elections

FP Turks and Caicos

Written by Richard Green/richard@fptci.com   

Regardless of when the U.K. allows elections, it intends to hold onto the purse strings of the Turks and Caicos Islands at least until 2016 to ensure that no one interferes with its $260 million loan guarantee that bailed the country out of certain bankruptcy.

The requirement is nothing new. The U.K.’s Department for International Development installed a chief financial officer (CFO) in September 2010 to oversee the country’s finances in order to protect the U.K. loan guarantee, but a draft bill unveiled May 8 sets out the conditions of the CFO’s powers and responsibilities after elections are held.

The draft bill has been approved by U.K. ministers and will be considered by the governor’s Advisory Council and Consultative Forum, but the U.K. government will make the final decision on what is enacted.

“U.K. ministers will welcome comments on the bill if members of the Advisory Council and Consultative Forum wish to provide them, though requests to dilute the intent of the bill are unlikely to be accepted,” His Excellency the Gov. Ric Todd said in a statement announcing the bill.

“The provisions of the bill are wide-ranging and necessary to continue to reinforce financial control standards after elections, and to ensure government reduces its debt and builds a track record of surpluses that should allow access to commercial finance by the time the loan guarantee expires in 2016,” the governor said.

The bill would give the CFO basically the same powers as he or she has had since the position was created, including having to approve every government expenditure over a certain amount.

In addition to providing support to ministers, permanent secretaries and others, the CFO is required “to protect the Ministry of Finance and wider civil servants with finance responsibilities against any intentional or unintentional ministerial interference that may undermine TCI public finance,” according to a government statement on the bill.

“The CFO will work with a new locally elected ministerial team in their work and to continue to help the TCI on its path of financial and economic recovery. The minister of finance will retain the responsibility for the preparation of the appropriation bill, subject to CFO approval and within the financial envelope set by the CFO, and will be in a position, subject to sustainable public finances, to allocate available resources in pursuit of government policies.”

The CFO will report to the governor, hold a position equivalent to permanent secretaries, attend cabinet meetings, and have “line management responsibility” for the permanent secretary of finance and all U.K.-funded finance advisers.

The CFO also will have the power to stop any action by any government employee or body that violates part IX of the Constitution, new financial management laws or governance principals, or which jeopardizes any components of the loan guarantee.

22 June 2012

Premier of Greenland on official visit to BVI

Press Release

Government of the British Virgin Islands



In strengthening its international relations, the Virgin Islands (VI) will host the Premier of Greenland Mr. Kuupik Kleist, who is visiting the Territory in his capacity as Chairman of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA), of which the VI is a member.

The June 20 to 22 visit is the first leg of a regional familiarisation mission being carried out by Premier Kleist, designed to help inform him about the British and Dutch OCTs in the Caribbean.

While in the Virgin Islands, Premier Kleist will meet with Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE to discuss European Union (EU) – OCT relations. The Greenland premier’s visit to the VI will also serve as an opportunity for the Premier to reiterate the VI’s support for the EU’s revision of the Overseas Association Decision (OAD) and emphasise the need to revise the eligibility criteria for territorial funding that currently excludes the VI and Cayman Islands. The existing OAD, which gives OCTs free market access to the EU, will expire in 2013.

More importantly, matters discussed during Premier Kleist’s visit will help shape the agenda of the upcoming OCTA Ministerial Conference to be held in Greenland this September, under the theme, “Green Growth”.

In January, Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering led the VI delegation to the last OCTA Ministerial Conference in Brussels, Belgium. Representatives from the BVI London Office attend the regular meetings of OCTA in Brussels.

Honourable Pickering will also meet with Premier Kleist to discuss the Territory’s plans for “green growth” or “greening” the economy, which, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, refers to “the process of changing businesses and infrastructure for better returns on natural, human and economic capital investments, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, using less natural resources, creating less waste, and reducing social disparities”. In addition, the VI’s support for the inclusion of all OCTs in future funding envelopes and programmes related to environment will be communicated.

The Greenland premier will also meet with Cabinet this week. Premier Kleist is scheduled to leave the Territory this Friday, and will go on to visit Dutch OCTs Aruba and Curacao.

The VI serves as Vice Chair of OCTA; Chair of the OCTA Partnership Working Party, a working group on financial services; and the Deputy Regional Authorising Officer (DRAO) for the Caribbean members of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), of 15 million Euros, equivalent to over 20 million US Dollars.

As the DRAO, the Territory is charged with managing the 10th EDF’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Programme; intended to build the capacity of SME intermediaries, such as Small Business Bureaus, Trade Departments and Chambers of Commerce, to help them better service SME’s.

The Virgin Islands is one of 22 members of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA), established in 2003. OCTA is designed to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information for the mutual benefit of members, recommend action to EU member governments, develop effective working relationships with EU institutions and defend the collective interests of members.

21 June 2012

Contemporary colonialism in the Caribbean region - An assessment

 América Latina en Movimiento (ALAI)

International advisor on governance and multilateral diplomacy

Colonialismo contemporáneo en el Caribe

(English version below)


El Caribe contemporáneo permanece como la región políticamente más diversa del mundo en un espacio geográfico tan pequeño.  A finales del siglo XIX, gran parte de la región se componía de dependencias coloniales controladas por varias naciones europeas. Tras la creación de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) en 1945, y la posterior ola de independencia que se aceleró a partir de 1960, muchas de las dependencias del Caribe obtuvieron su independencia política.  Otras -en particular, los departamentos de ultramar de Guadalupe, Martinica y la Guayana Francesa- se integraron políticamente con Francia. Para 1960, estas dos opciones políticas de la independencia y la integración, junto con la asociación libre, se habían convertido en las normas internacionales vigentes de la igualdad política, de conformidad con la Resolución 1541 (XV) de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas (ONU).

Antes de la adopción de este criterio de autogobierno por las Naciones Unidas, los avances políticos en las Antillas Neerlandesas y Puerto Rico en la década de 1950 produjeron diferentes formas de autonomía, que sin embargo no reunían todos los requisitos para la igualdad política plena.

Mientras tanto, las seis restantes dependencias de Reino Unido -las Bermudas, las Islas Turcas y Caicos, Islas Caimán, Anguila, Islas Vírgenes Británicas y Montserrat- y la de Estados Unidos (EE.UU.) -las Islas Vírgenes-, fueron clasificadas por la ONU en 1946 como territorios no autónomos, junto con la mayor parte del mundo no-independiente.  Mientras que otros territorios no autónomos transitaron hacia el pleno autogobierno, la evolución política progresiva ha sido insuficiente en las dependencias de Reino Unido y EE.UU. en el Caribe.
Read the full Spanish version here.

Dr. Carlyle G. Corbin es asesor internacional sobre la gobernanza y la diplomacia multilateral.

Contemporary colonialism in the Caribbean 


The contemporary Caribbean remains the most politically diverse region of the world in such a small geographic space. By the end of the 19th century, much of the region was comprised of colonial dependencies controlled by various European nations. Following the creation of the United Nations (U.N.) in 1945, and the subsequent wave of independence which accelerated after 1960, many of the Caribbean dependencies gained political independence. Others - in particular, the overseas departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana - became politically integrated with France. By 1960, these two political options of independence and integration, coupled with free association, had become the prevailing international standards of political equality pursuant to United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV).

Before U.N. adoption of this self-governance criteria, political advancements in the Netherlands Antilles and Puerto Rico in the 1950s yielded different forms of autonomy but which were deficient in the requirements for full political equality.

Meanwhile, the remaining six United Kingdom (U.K.) dependencies of Bermuda, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Montserrat; and the United States (U.S.) dependency of the Virgin Islands; were classified by the U.N. in 1946 as non self-governing territories (NSGT) along with most of the non-independent world. Whilst other NSGTs evolved to full self-government, incremental political evolution has been insufficient in the U.K. and U.S. dependencies in the Caribbean.

Read the full English version here.

20 June 2012

Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice establishes international law as basis of the self determination process in Guahan (Guam)

to the 


United Nations Headquarters
New York, N.Y.



JUNE 20, 2012

Hafa Adai and greetings from Guam Your Excellency Mr. Chairman Diego Morejón Pazmino and distinguished members of the Special Committee on Decolonization. Thank you for the opportunity to share with this esteemed committee my perspective relative to some of the current realities and prospects respecting the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in this now Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. 

I am Julian Aguon, a Guam-based attorney whose work and legal scholarship centers on international law, specifically self-determination and decolonization in the separate, albeit at times overlapping, contexts of non-self-governing peoples on the one hand, and indigenous peoples on the other. By way of background, I am indigenous Chamoru of Guam, a small Pacific island that remains on your list of non-self-governing territories. 

I offer the following testimony in my capacity as a member of the Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice, a Guam-based nongovernmental organization engaged in self-determination scholarship and advocacy, as well as an international law scholar schooled in the subject of self-determination. I shall keep my comments limited to one of the more important and pressing issues being debated, and in my opinion, misrepresented, in Guam today; that is, the issue of whom constitutes the appropriate electorate in any self-determination plebiscite now or in the future held in Guam.

Though international law provides certain instructions on this matter, of late there has been an attempt in Guam (and other similarly situated territories) to distort the character of the “self” in self-determination, a situation that, if left unchecked, threatens to further confound the all-important implementation of the decolonization declaration in this Third Decade.

The following is an appraisal of the self-determination right under international law meant to speak to the twin issues of what it is and who holds it.

What is the content of the right of self-determination?

From the founding of the United Nations at the end of World War II until today, the international community has had to address the plight of colonized peoples, and later of indigenous peoples. Early in this period, it concluded that the situation of colonized peoples could be corrected only if they became formally vested with the right of self-determination. In fact, the UN Charter itself, being both a political compact and an organic document, asserted that the principle of the self-determination of peoples is the very foundation on which a new interstate system dedicated to the peaceful settlement of disputes and the outlawing of war is to be built. 

Later UN instruments, as well as the ensuing practice of states, then took on the task of delineating and elaborating on the right of self-determination itself.

Thus, the Charter’s Article 1 calls for the development of “friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.” Article 55, for its part, commands UN member-states to promote, among other values, “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.” More specifically, Article 73 commands, in relation to the rights of peoples in non-self-governing territories like Guam who have not yet attained a full measure of self-government, that states administering them “recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount.” 

Moreover, the Article continues, these Administering Powers accept as a “sacred trust” the obligation to develop self-government in the territories, taking due account of the political aspirations of the people. Toward this end, subsection (e) of Article 73 commands Administering Powers to submit annual reports to the United Nations on the steps they have taken and the progress they have made to move the territories toward self-government.

The first UN instrument to formally announce the right of self-determination is the 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, also known as Resolution 1514, which explains that “[t]he subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination, and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and co-operation.” The Declaration then laid down this by now classic formulation of the right of self-determination: “All peoples have the right of self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” 

While General Assembly declarations and resolutions are not in themselves binding, they do engender binding propositions of customary international law to the extent that they either illuminate and record the position of the international community on any given legal subject, or elicit states’ adherence to their provisions. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in its 1975 advisory opinion in the Western Sahara case confirmed as much when it relied heavily on General Assembly resolutions to establish basic legal principles concerning the right of peoples to self-determination.

Several later major international instruments, whether called conventions or treaties, subsequently contributed to the elaboration of the substance of the right of self-determination. Both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the companion International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, (known collectively as the 1966 Human Rights Covenants) enshrine self-determination as a right of all peoples. Approved by the General Assembly in 1966, and legally binding as of 1976, these treaties bind those countries that ratify them. The first article of each of the two Covenants, identically worded, repeats the classic formulation of the right quoted above, thereby establishing beyond doubt the right’s fundamental importance in the international architecture of not only interstate relations but also human rights law.

Finally, the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation Among States, also known as Resolution 2625 (XXV), likewise reiterates that all peoples have the right to determine their political status without external interference, and further specifies that every state has the duty to respect this right. 

Unlike the 1966 Covenants, which bind only those states that ratify them, Resolution 2625 is considered a datum of customary international law binding on all countries.

A number of commentators, likely desirous of limiting the right of self-determination so as to preserve the current distribution of power in the world, argue that the right of self-determination has two dimensions – internal and external – with differing mandates, yet fail to produce a single instrument of international law to date that sets out this bifurcation.

These commentators depict internal self-determination as the right of a people within a state to “democratic” participation in government. They identify external self-determination, in contrast, as a people’s right to reject alien subjugation, typically in the contexts of colonization or military occupation. While this framing of self-determination has been challenged in the academic literature, the debate in any event has no bearing on the non-controversial proposition that the exercise of self-determination in a non-self-governing territory necessarily includes, indeed highlights, the external element. That is, a colonized people is entitled to the full, unequivocal and, need one add, scrupulously above-board opportunity to throw off colonialism via a plebiscite that offers voters the full spectrum of political status choices possible, from forms of incorporation, through forms of free association, to full independence.

Recent characterizations of the situation in New Caledonia as expressive of a new “fourth” expression of self-determination have been misleading. While legal and political developments in that territory have yielded yet another example of how a particular people might construct a multi-step process to achieve self-determination, the current situation in New Caledonia is not, and has never been held out, not even by the interested French party, as the end-product of a self-determination process required by the UN. Indeed, under the1998 Nouméa Accord, the Territorial Congress of New Caledonia is to call a plebiscite after 2014 on independence, which is hardly a new status in international law. The conflation by some commentators of the international norm of self-determination with interim arrangements of self-governance dangerously misrepresents the existing international law parameters of decolonization. Dangerous because the colonizer is always all too happy with the confusion that allows self-governance, a lid, to be mistakenly acquiesced to when the colonized have all along been entitled even to outright independence.

Who holds the right of self-determination?

Having dealt with the “what” of self-determination, it is now time to deal with its “who.” Textually, “peoples” are the collective “who” endowed with the right of self-determination.

But who are “peoples?” Or, as the question is often framed in Guam: Who is the “self” in self-determination? 

While there is no definition of “peoples” in international law, “peoples” for purposes of self-determination have historically been understood as those living under the yoke of alien, colonial, and/or racist domination and subjugation. In other words, these peoples were seen as suffering a grievous and unlawful injury inflicted on their collective being by outsiders. In consequence, they were entitled to the redress of “re-determining” themselves.

Through much of the 20th century, international law had little to say one way or the other on the issue of the right of self-determination of indigenous peoples as indigenous peoples.The latter were, when attended to at all, typically conflated with minority groups enclosed within states. The historic 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (“UNDRIP”) changed this. It explicitly recognizes that the classic right of self-determination also covers indigenous peoples. That said, it is important to note here that, under international law, colonized peoples and indigenous peoples are not necessarily one and the same. Where, as in Guam and New Caledonia, the colonized population at the onset of colonization also largely features, today, as the relevant colony’s indigenous people, it would seem evident that the latter’s right to self-determination is weighted with a double gravitas, so to speak, inasmuch as redress means the recovery of independence as well as of indigeneity, as spelled out in the UNDRIP.

In Guam of late, commentary about self-determination in the local press has resurrected the deceptively simple phrase Chamorro only vote. It has become clear that one of the most important issues to be settled before all else in Guam today is the issue of who gets to vote in any future self-determination plebiscite. Some, it should be noted, seek to racialize and so prejudge the issue by phrasing the question as: “Is it impermissibly racist or otherwise illegal to limit the electorate (those eligible to vote) to “native inhabitants” as that term is presently envisioned in Guam law, i.e., those persons who became U.S. Citizens by virtue of the authority and enactment of the 1950 Organic Act of Guam and descendants of those persons.

The correct approach, it is submitted here, requires us to understand that, for purposes of self-determination, “native inhabitant” is a history-based, not race-based, designation. Put another way, international law is not here concerned with blood and ancestry but with providing a people with redress, i.e., a remedy, for a historical wrong: the wrong of having been denied by others the right to exist, as they once did, on their own terms. Hence the legally significant set of questions in the colonial context is: who has been harmed by colonization so as to be entitled to the prescribed cure of decolonization; when did said harm occur; and, has the harm been cured?

Turning to the case of Guam, fellow international law scholars with whom I have discussed our situation conclude that though no single date for the onset of colonization of Guam has been incontrovertibly established, the most plausible date would be as early as1898, when Guam was ceded by Spain to the United States under the Treaty of Paris. In no event could the date be later than 1946, the year Guam was placed on the U.N. non-self-governing territories list. 

Thus, only those persons (and their descendants) living on the island on the date chosen may be considered victims of colonization. The ethnic composition of this group of persons, in this case predominantly Chamorro, is legally irrelevant for purposes of the decolonization remedy to which they are entitled. International law and practice is quite clear on this point. Incredibly enough, some commentators heard here have had the temerity to assert that the U.S. Constitution requires a color-blind compilation of the electorate that will cast ballots in Guam’s self-determination vote when it is the very reach of the U.S. into Guam, U.S. Constitution and all, that would be assessed in the vote. It appears these individuals do not know international law’s provisions for decolonization for they seem to forget that the anticipated self-determination act falls under the aegis of international, not U.S. domestic, law.

In 1980, the General Assembly adopted a resolution calling on member states to prevent migration to colonial territories lest it frustrate the colonized population’s eventual exercise of self-determination. In its Plan of Action for the Full Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the General Assembly instructs that member states “shall adopt the necessary measures to discourage or prevent the systematic influx of outside immigrants and settlers into territories under colonial domination, which disrupts the demographic compositions of those territories and may constitute a major obstacle to the genuine exercise of the right to self-determination and independence by the people of those territories.” 

This language indicates that, to the extent that new populations, ethnic and otherwise, are “let in” to the colony by way of the colonizer’s control of immigration, said populations are not deemed to be part of the colonized polity and thus neither they nor their descendants are entitled to the right of self-determination which is, in the colonial context, the remedy for the injury of colonization.

Further still, in Resolution 2625, the General Assembly instructs that the physical territory of a non-self-governing territory “has, under the Charter, a status separate and distinct from the territory of the State administering it; and such separate and distinct status under the Charter shall exist until the people of the colony or Non Self-Governing Territory have exercised their right to self-determination in accordance with the Charter, and particularly its purposes and principles.” This language further indicates that the United States, as Guam’s Administering Power, cannot first exploit its control over Guam’s immigration to flood the island with its own non-colonized expatriates, or even third-party settlers, and then claim that every person residing in Guam is entitled to vote in a decolonization plebiscite.

The international community has previously repudiated a similar proposition advanced by French parties in Kanaky/New Caledonia. There, France had argued for years previous to the 1998 Nouméa Accord that all French citizens who had moved from France to Kanaky/New Caledonia had the right to vote in any self-determination referendum in the colony. Denying them the vote, it said, would be tantamount to discrimination forbidden, it continued, by France’s Constitution, laws and, it claimed, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“ICCPR”), which bars racial discrimination.

In 2002, in the case of Gillot et al. v. France, the Human Rights Committee, which is the treaty body created by the ICCPR to monitor its implementation, addressed the issue of voting restrictions placed on a class of residents of Kanaky/New Caledonia. The case involved French citizens who failed to meet qualifications for voting in future referenda as set out in the 1998 Nouméa Accord executed between representatives of France and the Kanaky independence movement both of whom, in the process of negotiating the Accord, made several political concessions to the other on the matter of the composition of the electorate.

Said French citizens brought the case to the Committee under the Optional Protocol attached to the ICCPR. The Committee – in explaining that a referendum to effectuate a colonized people’s right of self-determination is not to be likened to ordinary elections – adopted the reasoning that it is in the very nature of a self-determination referendum that it should be “limited to eliciting the opinion of, not the whole of the national population, but the persons concerned with the future of a limited territory who prove that they possess certain specific characteristics.” Such a “restricted electorate,” it ruled, did not violate the treaty’s anti-discrimination provisions because these must be read in the first place to harmonize with the ICCPR’s own Article 1 highlighting the right of self-determination.

The Committee noted that such voting restrictions work to “ensure that the referendums reflect the will of the population ‘concerned’ and that their results cannot be undermined by a massive vote by people who have recently arrived in the territory and have no proven, strong ties to it.” The French claimants were challenging, among other referenda provisions, a 20-year residency requirement for voting. 

The Committee found that the cut-off points set for the referendum of 1998, and for referenda from 2014 on, were neither discriminatory nor excessive inasmuch as they were in keeping with the nature and purpose of these ballots, namely a self-determination process involving the participation of persons able to prove sufficiently strong ties to the territory whose future is being decided. The Committee summed up its view as follows: restrictions on the electorate in the 1998 Noumea Accords are not discriminatory but instead based on “objective grounds for differentiation that are reasonable and compatible with the provisions of the Covenant.”

I would like now to take this opportunity to apprise you of a recent attempt by one Guam resident to invoke U.S. domestic law and legal process to preemptively deny the colonized people of Guam from exercising the self-determination right. Late last year, a retired U.S.Air Force officer, Arnold “Dave Davis, filed a lawsuit in hopes of overturning the Guam law that limits the electorate in any future self-determination plebiscite to those falling within the statutory definition of a “native inhabitant of Guam,” that is, persons who became U.S.Citizens by virtue of the authority and enactment of the 1950 Organic Act of Guam and descendants of those persons. 

The lawsuit was filed in the District Court of Guam and is brought against the Territory of Guam, the Guam Election Commission, election commissioners, and the Attorney General of Guam. Davis is being represented by the Center for Individual Rights, a non-profit, advocacy group based in Washington D.C. Davis filed the lawsuit citing a prior occasion during which he purportedly attempted to register for the Decolonization Registry but was denied because he did not meet Guam law’s definition of a “native inhabitant of Guam.” Again, current Guam law provides that those persons who lived in Guam and were made a U.S. citizen at the time of the passage of the Organic Act of Guam in 1950, and their descendents, are eligible to register for the self-Determination plebiscite. 

Again, Davis’ lawyers are arguing that Guam’s decolonization statutory scheme violates federal constitutional and statutory law. Their basic contention appears to be that ancestry is always a proxy for race and as such Guam’s decolonization statutory scheme,specifically its limiting definition of a “native inhabitant of Guam,” is unconstitutional race-based discrimination under U.S. domestic law. Guam’s Attorney General’s Office, defending the Government of Guam, made a motion to dismiss the case, which was in turn supported by an amicus curiae brief. The federal court has yet to formally rule on the government’s motion to dismiss. We in Guam wait with baited breath for that ruling.

As herein explained, Guam’s decolonization statutory scheme in general, and its limiting definition of “native inhabitant of Guam” in particular, falls well within the well-demarcated parameters of the international law on self-determination. Thus, current Guam law does not run afoul of international law, including international law’s general prohibition of racial discrimination. Rather, it might even be said that Guam law sophisticatedly reflects international law’s ability, as a normative system, to reconcile both the self-determination norm and the non-discrimination norm running through the international legal system.

Moreover, any attempt to privilege the latter over the former is jurisprudentially faulty given the former’s exalted status as peremptory norm of international law.

Finally, a last word on the charge that limiting the electorate in any future self-determination referendum in Guam to those defined as “native inhabitants” would be unconstitutional vis-à-vis the U.S. Constitution. This charge prominently displays the failure, so prevalent in the U.S. and U.S. influenced territories, to reach for international law to help solve a problem that is clearly international in nature. Beyond the cynicism inherent in the call to conform a project of potentially separating from the U.S. to U.S. law, the failure marks a chilling conceptual inability in the American imagination to see the world in any light other than what the American establishment has shone.

In closing, I repeat here the recommendations advanced by Dr. LisaLinda Natividad, on behalf of the Government of Guam and the Honorable Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, at the recent regional seminar in Quito, Ecuador:

(1) That Guam remain on the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories until its people have had the opportunity to exercise their inalienable human right to political self-determination;

(2) That Guam be a site of the next Pacific Regional Seminar in 2014 so that members of the Special Committee may learn first-hand of the situation on Guam;

(3) That the United Nations provide both financial and technical assistance for an educational campaign for all people of Guam relative to the political status plebiscite in the near future;

(4) That the United Nations hold the administering power, the United States, responsible for providing funding to support a political status educational campaign;

(5) That the United Nations sends a Visiting Mission to the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Guam to observe any future self-determination plebiscite held therein; and

(6) That the United Nations adopt a Resolution that reflects a case-by-case decolonization plan for each of the non-self-governing territories to be achieved in the Third Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.

To these recommendations, I add one:

(7) That this committee immediately take any and all affirmative steps necessary, within the United Nations framework, to collaborate with the United Nations Sixth (Legal) Committee to develop and publish, within one (1) year from today’s date, a position paper that squarely addresses the legal issue(s) addressed herein, namely the issue of whom constitutes the appropriate electorate in any self-determination plebiscite now or in the future held in Guam; and that this committee further transmit a copy of any such paper to each remaining non-self-governing territory.

Thank you.