Guam Decolonization Commission Meeting Cancelled By No-Shows

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Commission to discuss participation at UN Decolonization meetings

By Manny Cruz

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, July 30, 2015) – No-shows warranted the cancellation of a Commission on Decolonization meeting at Adelup on Tuesday.

Ed Alvarez, the commission's executive director, and Sen. Tony Ada were left waiting at the far end of the conference table for 30 minutes before it became apparent that no one else was coming.

The meeting would have covered the decolonization process and the commission's participation at a United Nations meeting in October and the Pacific Islands Forum in September.

"We're represented at the United Nations every year," Alvarez said. "Guam now has its own resolution instead of being lumped together with every other non-self-governing territory. We can now stand alone and create more awareness."

Alvarez said the commission recently approved a budget for its three task forces to prepare educational materials, which detail the pros and cons of the different political status options — independence, free association and statehood.

"Independence is the most common choice," Alvarez said. "There are over 200 independent island nations. Free association, on the other hand, is like having a room at your parents' house where you can control everything that goes on in your room but not outside of it."

The Calvo administration is planning to launch an educational outreach campaign before a potential plebiscite vote in July 2016.

Gov. Eddie Calvo is expected to request a federal grant of $250,000, which Speaker Judith Won Pat, D-Inarajan, has called "woefully insufficient."

In comparison, Puerto Rico was granted $5 million for its plebiscite in 2012, according to Pacific Daily News files.

According to the Guam Election Commission, as of June 30, there were 8,912 native inhabitants enrolled on the decolonization registry.

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