GUAM ACTIVISTS ADDRESS UN COMMITTEE

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HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, June 22) – Members of a Guam delegation, including a former island lawmaker, spoke before the United Nations committee on non-self governing territories yesterday in New York City and called for closer attention to Guam, especially in light of the pending military buildup.

The Guam delegation members told the UN Special Committee of 24 that the island continues to be a colony of the United States. The UN committee was created to consider appropriate types of self-government models for the world's 16 remaining "non-self governing" territories, which include Guam.

The delegation pointed to the "United States' refusal to respect the Chamorro people's right to self-determination."

The quest of self-determination was at one point a movement on Guam, but has since stalled. The government invested resources in a local constitutional convention, and later in trying to convince Congress to approve the draft Guam Commonwealth Act. But both efforts failed.

Hope Antoinette Cristobal, a Chamorro activist, said colonization "has had an impact on the psychological disposition of my people."

Sabina Flores Perez, a Chamorro activist who spoke before the UN Special Political and Decolonization Committee in October 2006, said it is time for the UN and the international community to respond to Guam.

"In this time of great need for Chamorros and Guam ... it is essential to ensure that all the accomplishments of our forebears on behalf of decolonization and self-determination be maintained," said Perez.

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