Guam: Resolution to Apply for UNPO Membership
Today [14 November 2019], Tina Muña Barnes, a Guamanian politician, presented the Resolution 255-35 following the decision to seek UNPO membership. The act aims to recognize the lack of international representation and self-governance for Guam, whose citizens are unable to access and practice their political rights in United States Congress and United Nations. The decision in seeking UNPO membership is a significant move in the struggle to reclaim true democracy for all of America's unrepresented citizens. the resolution was welcomed by US Senator Paul Strauss - DC Shadow Senator - who said that “while some might question why a territory of the United States seeks membership in a group that represents some of the world's most oppressed and abused people, the very fact that citizens of a U.S. territory even meet the criteria for membership as an unrepresented people should be a significant wake-up call to all who value Democracy, at home and around the world.”
The article below is an Immediate Release by Legislature of Guam:
Hagatña, Guam – Today, Speaker Tina Muña Barnes introduced Resolution 255-35 (LS) with the support of her colleagues - Senator Joe S. San Agustin, Senator Kelly Marsh (Taitano), Senator Amanda L. Shelton, and Senator Jose “PEDO” Terlaje. Resolution 255-35 (LS) recognizes Guam’s absence of representation and aims to become a member of the international member-based organization known as the Unrepresented Nations and People Organization (UNPO). UNPO was created to empower groups of unrepresented and marginalized people who are not represented in international and domestic forums.
Resolution 255-35 (LS) urges both the Speaker of the Legislature and the Chairwoman of the Committee on Federal and Foreign Affairs to take measures needed to solidify Guam’s status as a member in the UNPO.
Since the Spanish discovery of Guam in 1521, we have not been granted the opportunity to have a voice internationally. To this day, we continue to be denied equal representation in the United States Congress and the United Nations. Because of this, we are denied our full political rights. If chosen to become a member, Guam would be granted the opportunity to have a seat on the international stage and have access to other organizations mandated to defend our rights.
Speaker Muña Barnes stated that “When faced with tribulation, we must keep on. We must keep trying. Over the last couple of months, after receiving letters regarding the Guam Buildup, and listening to your concerns, it is apparent that we must keep on trying to get our voices heard.”
Guam is not alone in the fight to be heard. In 2015, the District of Columbia joined the UNPO due to their lack of equal representation and self-governance. With the help of the UNPO, the District leaders have managed to bring forth their concerns of inequality and unite the voices of those who wish to be heard. “I welcome Guam's decision to join Washington DC in seeking UNPO membership. It signals an important step forward in the fight for full democracy for all of America's unrepresented citizens.” stated US Senator Paul Strauss – DC Shadow Senator. “While some might question why a territory of the United States seeks membership in a group that represents some of the world's most oppressed and abused people, the very fact that citizens of a U.S. territory even meet the criteria for membership as an Unrepresented people should be a significant wake-up call to all who value Democracy, at home and around the world.”