Wednesday, June 25, 2008

JGPO Address Public Safety Issue for Guam

Underwood Stresses Importance of UOG

Underwood stresses importance of UOG
by Clynt Ridgell, KUAM News
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Guam Chamber of Commerce heard from University of Guam President Dr. Robert A. Underwood on how UOG is the best investment for Guam's future. Underwood stressed that the university generates graduates who have helped to strengthen the economy and the island by filling the professional ranks of places like both the hospital and island schools.

The UOG President told chamber members, " When the island ignored the University and failed to fund it adequately, we all paid a price. We failed to cultivate our people's talents and some of the best minds of our island left the island. We didn't squander our money. We wasted our human resources."

The new president's mission is to make the University of Guam the natural choice for higher education in Guam and the region.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Local Products Launch Business

Local products launch business: Store features ifit, other Guam-specific items
By Stephanie Godlewski
Pacific Daily News
June 23, 2008

Tourists are almost always looking for locally made products, said John Castro.

He is the owner of Island Cutie Gift Shop, which specializes in local crafts.

"I worked in the tourism industry for 12 years, so I learned what they were looking for," he said.

However, Castro said tourists aren't the only ones looking for authenticity.

"Even people who live or used to live on Guam look for those special items made on Guam."

A year and a half ago, Castro decided to bring people what they're looking for and opened Island Cutie to showcase all the things Guam has to offer.

"I wanted to open up because I wanted to promote local items, like local carvings," he said. "I wanted to display local crafts, like those made from clam shells."

Uncle's carvings
Castro is no stranger to crafts, having seen his uncle, Robert Taitano, create intricate wood carvings from the ifit tree. Castro said he spoke to his uncle about being the exclusive distributor of Robert Taitano creations.

Taitano is well-known locally for his carvings -- ranging from tables to storyboards -- with government officials among his clientele. Today, Island Cutie is the only retail store that sells the master carver's products.

"When people come in, I like to tell them about the wood and the work that goes into the products," Castro said. "When people know its history, the merchandise has more value for them."

Carvings and crafts aren't the only things Island Cutie has to offer, however.

"We have a lot of stuff," Castro said. "We have stickers, T-shirts, coconut graters and handmade soaps.

"I have some really (affordable) items," he said. These range from small toys to souvenirs from $1.99 and up. Wooden tables cost around $2,000.

Local focus
He added that many of the products are made locally, with some produced by the company.

"The stickers, we make here. We hand-braid the shirts. The candles, we make ourselves. The soap, our mother-in-law makes," Castro said.

His girlfriend, and co-owner of Island Cutie, Jayna Park, also carves soaps.

"We even buy our coconut oil from the Adas in Inarajan," he added.

Castro said running a small business is no easy feat, as he encountered difficulty with merchandising and management when starting up.

A huge part of staying successful is the way the customer is treated, he said.

"You have to do customer service and the customer is always No. 1. They're the one giving you the revenue."

Castro said he treats the customers like family and shares stories of Guam's culture and heritage with them.

Something new
Even with the economic problems Guam is facing, Castro's business is doing well. The secret? Always looking for something new.

"I try not to concentrate on one item. I try and concentrate on a lot of items," Castro said. "I try to make it and bring it in. I try to visualize what people want. I see what customers want and try to get their opinion."

The variety of items brings in both locals and tourists, just as Castro planned.

Expansion plans
Recently, Castro started negotiations to open two shops at Andersen Air Force Base. He said a number of his customers are military personnel or visitors from the mainland. Because he already sells a good amount to the military base, he looks forward to what this opportunity could bring.

"It will be two stores -- one for candles and one for local carvings," Castro said.

He said the mall store won't suffer from the expansion, because he will continue to bring new items in.

"I'm expanding with carvings from Indonesia, carved glass tables," Castro said. "I've got a lot of unique stuff coming in."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Quitugua Remembered

Quitugua remembered: Family, friends mourn son of Guam killed in Iraq
By Bryan C. Sualog
Pacific Daily News
June 23, 2008

Christopher Albert Quitugua was set to start a new stage in his life when his life ended in Iraq, said his father, Victor Quitugua.

The former Mangilao resident, who was working for a civilian security company, was killed in Iraq during a non-combat accident June 19, according to his family.

He was 28.

According to Christopher Quitugua's grandparents, Albert A. Quitugua and Maria C. Quitugua, their grandson and three others were in a vehicle in a convoy when a tire blowout caused the vehicle to flip.

He was working for a civilian company that protected military VIPs in Iraq.

"He is a very dedicated boy who had a lot of energy and was starting another phase of his life with his wife."

Christopher Quitugua was married in March.

He's the 26th son of Micronesia to be killed since the War on Terror began in 2001. More than 4,100 American service members have died in Iraq and Afghanistan in the war.

His grandparents said Quitugua grew up on Guam and attended George Washington High School, but moved to the U.S. mainland to join his father in Los Angeles to finish out his senior year.

Maria Quitugua said her grandson loved to cook and attended culinary school for two years.
"When he got tired of that, he told his dad he was going to join the Army," she said.

4 years in the Army
Quitugua served four years in the Army. During his tour of duty, he went to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before leaving for Iraq, he was living in Miami with his father.

Maria Quitugua said she raised her grandson, so his death is especially difficult for her.

She said when her grandson was in middle school, he went to live with his parents in Arizona, but would call and ask to come back to Guam because he missed his grandmother and grandfather. She said he would call her and say, "Grandma, send me a ticket. I want to go to Guam. I don't like it here."

Maria Quitugua said it had been almost two years since she had seen her grandson. She spoke to him on Father's Day.

Christopher Quitugua was due to visit Guam this week.

Victor Quitugua said funeral arrangements for his son were still being made.

Gov. Felix Camacho expressed his condolences to the Quitugua family on Saturday. Delegate Madeleine Bordallo issued a statement yesterday.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the late Christopher Quitugua, most especially to his wife, Cari, during this very difficult time," Bordallo said. "Christopher's service to our nation and our island will be honored and remembered always."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Guam: Permanent Aircraft Carrier

The Australian
National security editor Patrick Walters | June 14, 2008
THE US is building a new permanent aircraft carrier and its name is

The US island territory is destined to become the key hub for American maritime power in the western Pacific with the start of a long, $15 billion construction boom. The strategic importance of Guam to Washington 's long-term presence in East Asia was a point hammered home by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates in Singapore a fortnight ago. Gates's speech to the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual gathering of Asian defence ministers and military chiefs, was his most complete exposition of future US defence strategy in the region since he took over from Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon 18 months ago. Gates's key theme to his East Asian interlocutors was that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, the US was not about to begin a long, slow, historic withdrawal from the region. Instead he outlined the concept of the US as a "resident power" in addition to its longstanding roles as an ally, partner, friend and routine offshore presence.

Critical to its long-term focus as a resident power will be Guam , the site of the largest US military build-up in the Mariana Islands since World War II. As the Pentagon chief pointed out, sovereign US territory in the western Pacific stretches all the way from the Aleutian Islands to Guam .

For US defence planners aiming for a nimbler, more flexible US global military posture across the globe, Guam is an ideal staging post. And for close allies of the US in the western Pacific, led by Japan and Australia , the island promises to become a vital facility as it hosts exercises and training with allied air and naval forces.

Earlier this month en route to Singapore , Gates made a flying visit to the island, 6000km west of Hawaii and 2000km southeast of Japan, to look at planned defence infrastructure. Acquired from Spain in 1898 following the Spanish-American War, Guam became a refuelling station for the US Navy. In December 1941, Japan overran the island, but it was recaptured by US forces after bitter fighting in 1944. Since then it has been an important logistics base.

During the next six years the Pentagon will spend billions on a new port capable of berthing a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, air bases, schools, hospitals and houses for US military and their families.

Guam's Anderson air base will soon be home to a detachment of unmanned, long-range Global Hawk surveillance aircraft able to track Chinese warships and submarines emerging from their home ports into the Pacific Ocean or the South China Sea . The US Air Force's newest fighter, the F-22 Raptor, will also be periodically flying on exercises from the island.

By 2014 Guam will receive about 8000 US marines who will transfer from their present base in Okinawa , the Japanese Government helping pay the $10 billion-plus relocation costs. With a population of about 170,000, Guam is already home to 12,000 US military personnel and the heavy build-up promises to put further strain on local communities. Its naval base hosts three attack submarines and the air force rotates its strategic bombers through Guam .

"Our Asian friends, whether or not they are formally allied to us, welcome our growing presence on Guam . As the island's new facilities take shape in coming years, they will be increasingly multilateral in orientation, with training opportunities and possible pre-positioning of assets," Gates said in Singapore . Gates's Shangri-La Dialogue speech was designed to convey a message of reassurance to the US 's close allies in East Asia that talk of the gradual diminution of the US 's military posture in the face of a renascent China was misplaced.

Questioned how the US could guarantee that it would not lose interest in Asia , Gates was blunt: "We will not lose interest because we are an Asian power," he said. "People would have been surprised, perhaps, in 1945 to see the US , 60 years later, still engaged in a larger way and a broader front in Asia than we were even at the end of the war ... nobody should have any worries on that score."

The Defence Secretary argues forcefully Washington 's presence has been an essential element in assisting Asia 's economic revival, "opening doors, protecting and preserving common spaces on the high seas, in space and more and more in the cyber world".

"This presence has offered other nations the crucial element of choice and enabled their entry into a globalised international society," he said. "As someone who has served seven US presidents, I want to convey to you with confidence that any future US administration's Asia security policy is going to be grounded in the fact that the United States remains a nation with strong and enduring interests in the region, interests that will endure no matter which political party occupies the White House next year."

Gates went on to say that any speculation in the region about the US losing interest in Asia struck him as "preposterous or disingenuous, or both"." America 's status in Asia rests on longstanding interests and deeply held notions about the basic character of the United States . However, we understand that our friends, partners and allies need reassurance at times. We will offer that consistently."

He stressed US military ties with East Asia , even with its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan , were more constructive than at any time in US history.

Recently Gates inaugurated a direct defence phone hotline with his Chinese counterpart, Liang Guanglie, and the two sides have also begun regular dialogues on strategic issues to improve bilateral co-operation.

Last week Liang thanked the US for its relief aid sent to China 's Sichuan province and said there had been "stable progress" on defence ties between the Beijing and Washington .

In Singapore , Gates - in an implicit reference to China - stressed the US wanted to work with every Asian country and "deepen our understanding of their military and defence finances and larger national security decisions".

"We do so in a sincere and open effort to avoid misreading intentions and so that we can continue our work as strategic partners," he said to an audience that included Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of the general staff of China 's People's Liberation Army. Gates did not give any hint that he had been briefed in advance on Kevin Rudd's novel concept of an Asia-Pacific community by 2020. He said Washington welcomed the search for a new security architecture and frameworks that could moderate interstate competition. But the Pentagon did have some benchmarks. East Asia should avoid an approach that treated the quest for a new security body as some kind of zero-sum game.

According to Gates it can only succeed if the region is treated as a single entity with no room for a separate East Asian order. That means the US must be part of any new security framework.

Washington would be willing to work with friends and partners to assist the evolution of "security arrangements suitable to common needs", he said. The clear message was that the US would be there to help shape any new longer-term Asian-Pacific security forum.

"We certainly share an interest in institutionalising various forums to deal with region-specific problems and we intend to participate in their evolution," was Gates's parting message.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

General Assembly Reaffirms Self-Determination Rights

United Nations, General Assembly
Special Committee on GA/COL/3177
6th Meeting (AM)


Members Hear Petitioners on Western Sahara, Guam, United States Virgin Islands

The Special Committee on Decolonization today approved a two-part draft resolution on 11 Non-Self-Governing Territories, and heard petitioners on Western Sahara, Guam and the United States Virgin Islands.

By the terms of an “omnibus” draft entitled “Questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Untied Virgin Islands”, the Special Committee would recommend that the General Assembly reaffirm that, in the process of decolonization, and where there was no sovereignty dispute, there was no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which was also a fundamental human right. The text also contained provisions concerning each of those Non-Self-Governing Territories.

According to the draft, the Assembly would reaffirm the responsibility of the administering Powers to promote the economic and social development of the Territories, and to preserve their cultural identity and natural environment, giving priority to the strengthening and diversification of their respective economies. The Assembly would stress the importance of constitutional reviews in the Territories administered respectively by the United Kingdom and the United States, and decide to follow closely developments concerning their future political status.

As the Special Committee took up the question of Western Sahara, a representative of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (Frente Polisario) said no progress had been made in negotiations between the parties, held in Manhasset, New York, owing to Morocco’s refusal yesterday to cooperate with the United Nations in implementing previous plans and its refusal today to discuss the proposal advanced by Frente Polisario in April 2007. That proposal stressed the need for a referendum on self-determination, which would include the options of independence, integration or autonomy. It also proposed negotiations on a preferential relationship with Morocco if the Saharan people opted for independence. Morocco’s position left no other alternative than the continuation of the unacceptable status quo, which could have dangerous consequences for the ceasefire in place since 1991.

He noted that Security Council resolution 1813 of April 2008 had rejected some unexpected and surprising ideas offered by the Facilitator that international legality should be abandoned and substituted with the occupation of Western Sahara by a foreign force. Those ideas advocated “political realism” to the detriment of international law and required a break with the Manhasset process, as well as a rupture from the legal basis for decolonization. Such personal ideas, vented publicly, disqualified the Facilitator. Western Sahara could not become an exception to the rule concerning the right of peoples and colonial countries to self-determination.

Also petitioning the Special Committee, an indigenous Chamorro woman from the island of Guam stressed the urgency of protecting her people’s right to self-determination in the face of intensified militarization by the administering Power, insisting that the United States’ $15 billion plans to further transform the Territory into a forward base had been developed without the informed consent and against the will of the Chamorro people.

“Let’s be clear,” she said. “Massive militarization is not development in the best interests or with the consent of the indigenous people of Guam, and is in violation of the administering Power’s ‘sacred trust obligation’ under Article 73 of the United Nations Charter to ensure our transition from colonization to freedom.” The military build-up would forever secure the political and cultural dispossession of Guam’s indigenous people.

A petitioner from the United States Virgin Islands appealed to the Special Committee to demand that the United Nations system comply with its directives on decolonization. Territories committed to self-determination were deeply troubled that the United Nations appeared ready to abandon the decolonization process, “declare victory and move on”.

Also taking the floor today were representatives of Cuba and Venezuela.

The Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples -– also known as the “Special Committee of 24” -- will continue its work at 10 a.m. tomorrow, 12 June.


The Special Committee met to hear petitioners regarding the questions of Western Sahara, Guam and the United States Virgin Islands. It was also expected to consider the questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Untied Virgin Islands.

Before the Special Committee was a draft resolution entitled “Questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Untied Virgin Islands”, (document A/AC.109/2008/L.9), by which it would recommend that the General Assembly reaffirm that, in the process of decolonization and in the absence of a dispute over sovereignty, there is no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which is also a fundamental human right.

By other terms of the text, the Assembly would also reaffirm the responsibility of the administering Powers to promote the economic and social development of the Non-Self-Governing Territories and to preserve their cultural identity. The Assembly would further request the Territories and the administering Powers to protect and conserve the environment of the Territories against any degradation.

Also by the draft, the Assembly would stress the importance of constitutional reviews in the Territories administered respectively by the United Kingdom and the United States, and decide to follow closely developments concerning their future political status.

Regarding Anguilla, the Assembly would welcome the report of the Constitutional and Electoral Reform Commission and the holding of public meetings in order to make recommendations to the administering Power, the United Kingdom, on proposed changes to the Territory’s Constitution.

It would also welcome the new constitution of the British Virgin Islands, which took effect in June 2007, and express appreciation for the efforts made to continue the work of the Inter-Virgin Islands Council to advance cooperation between the two neighbouring Territories.

The Assembly would, by other terms, welcome the work of the territorial Government and legislature of American Samoa on recommendations made by the Territory’s Future Political Status Study Commission regarding a constitutional convention.

As for Guam, the Assembly, aware that the Territory has established a non-binding plebiscite process for a self-determination vote by eligible Chamorro voters, would call once again upon the administering Power, the United States, to take the will of the Chamorro people, as expressed in the referendum of 1987, into account. The administering Power and the territorial Government would be encouraged to enter into negotiations on the matter.

Further by the draft, the Assembly would welcome all efforts by the United Kingdom, the administering Power of Pitcairn, to devolve operational responsibilities to the territorial Government with a view to expanding self-government.

Aware of the ongoing constitutional convention, the fifth attempt by the United States Virgin Islands to review the Revised Organic Act, the Assembly would request the administering Power to help the territorial Government achieve its political, economic and social goals, in particular the successful conclusion of the constitutional convention exercise. The Assembly would reiterate its call for the Territory’s inclusion in regional programmes of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), consistent with the participation of other Non-Self-Governing Territories.

Question of Western Sahara

RODRIGO MALMIERCA DIAZ ( Cuba) said the United Nations had reiterated repeatedly that the Western Sahara conflict was a decolonization issue, in which the Special Committee had a central role to play. The Saharan people were the only people who could decide on their future, as underlined by more than 40 resolutions since Western Sahara’s inclusion on the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. Since the adoption of Security Council resolution 1754 (2007), the parties had carried out four rounds of negotiations, and hopefully they would continue to seek solutions compatible with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and Assembly resolution 1514 (XV)

Stressing that the Saharan people needed the support of the international community, he said his country had contributed to their development, especially in the area of education. In response to the Assembly’s annual appeals that Member States offer study and training facilities to the inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories, 600 Saharan students were studying in Cuba, which would continue to support a just and definitive solution to the question of Western Sahara, in conformity with the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

MARCO PALAVICINI-GUEDEZ ( Venezuela) said his Government wished to state emphatically its unreserved commitment to the sovereign right of Western Sahara to independence, according to relevant international decisions. It was to be hoped that the will of the Saharan people would be fulfilled as quickly and peacefully as possible, and without any deviation from their natural rights.

AHMED BOUKHARI, representative of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (Frente Polisario), said that, after Spain had withdrawn from Western Sahara in 1975, the General Assembly had called for an end to the occupation by Morocco, negotiations with Frente Polisario and a referendum on self-determination. Since then, several peace plans had been proposed, including the 2003 Baker Plan, which had all been accepted by Frente Polisario.

He said Moroccan Prime Minister Karim Lamrani had told the General Assembly that his Government would respect the results of the referendum, but Morocco’s position had hardened since 2003. It now proposed autonomy under “Moroccan sovereignty”, which implied the precondition that Western Sahara was an integral part of that country. Neither the United Nations nor the African Union recognized Morocco’s territorial sovereignty over Western Sahara, as it had not even been the Territory’s administering Power.

He recalled that, in April 2007, Frente Polisario had submitted a possible political solution that would guarantee the right to self-determination of the Saharan people. That proposal stressed the need for a self-determination referendum that would include the three options of independence, integration or autonomy. If the result was to be independence, the parties could negotiate on a preferential relationship with Morocco in the security, trade and social spheres.

Since the Security Council’s adoption of resolution 1754 (2007), which called for negotiations without conditions and in good faith, four rounds of negotiations had taken place in Manhasset, he said. Frente Polisario’s basic position had been to express its willingness to discuss those proposals in detail and to present them in a referendum to the Saharan people, as that would be the best way to move forward in line with all proposals and plans, including the Baker Plan. However, yesterday’s refusal by Morocco to cooperate with the United Nations in implementing those plans, and its refusal today to discuss the Saharan proposal, left no alternative than the continuation of the unacceptable status quo, which could have dangerous consequences for the ceasefire that had been in place since 1991. For that reason, the Manhasset negotiations, initiated in June 2007, had not made any progress.

He said that Council resolution 1813 (2008) and the Secretary-General’s report to the Council rejected some unexpected and surprising ideas offered by the Facilitator that international legality should be abandoned in order to substitute it with Western Sahara’s occupation by a foreign force. Such a “bargain” was offered under the mantle of “political reality”. If the United Nations had accepted such “bargains” in the past regarding questions of decolonization, the map of the world would look rather different today.

Such ideas advocated political realism to the detriment of international law and required a break with the Manhasset process, as well as a rupture from the legal basis for decolonization, he stressed, adding that they disqualified the Facilitator. The position assumed by Morocco since 2003 imperilled the holding of the referendum it had endorsed. The continued illegal exploitation of natural resources and political repression in Western Sahara made the impasse even more serious and placed the region on the brink of tension and conflict. No one could deny that the issue was on the Special Committee’s agenda. Western Sahara could not become an exception to the rule concerning the right of peoples and colonial countries to self-determination.

Question of Guam

SABINA FLORES PEREZ, an indigenous Chamorro woman, stressed the urgency of protecting her people’s human right to self-determination in the face of intensified militarization by the administering Power. Guam continued to play a crucial role in the economic and military defence scheme of the United States. The current plan of intensified militarization, estimated to cost $15 billion, had been developed without the informed consent and against the will of the Chamorro people. It would further transform the island into a forward base, following the establishment of Global Strike Force, the refurbishing of Naval Base Guam to enhance its capacity to support nuclear aircraft carriers, the construction of an army base to serve as a Patriot ballistic missile defence task force and the planned construction of a highway solely for military purposes.

Noting that those plans included the scheduled initial transfer in 2008 of 8,000 United States Marines and 9,000 dependents from Okinawa, she said the projected influx of 35,000 military personnel, their families and support staff from other parts of Asia would result in a 23 per cent population increase over the next six and a half years. It would alter Guam’s demography, further marginalizing the Chamorro with absolutely no guarantees that their right to self-determination would remain intact. Furthermore, Lieutenant General Daniel P. Leaf, Deputy Commander of Pacific Command, had stated in 2006 that United States troops had a constitutional right to participate in Guam’s local elections. That was an example of United States policy regarding local governance.

The military build-up on Guam contravened the administering Power’s moral and legal obligations to protect the indigenous population’s human rights, she said. The island’s water, power and port were under relentless privatization pressure, all within the trust of the administering Power. The local population’s livelihoods had also been impacted by persistent and cumulative exposure to military contamination. At least 78 toxic sites had been identified for clean up from past military activities, and countless others were hidden. Local water resources in close proximity to military bases were seriously compromised by the administering Power. For example, Andersen Air Force Base sat atop the northern aquifer supplying 75 per cent of Guam’s drinking water.

Describing the dire situation of the population, she said the military influx, promoted as the panacea to the local Government’s economic woes, was exacerbating living conditions for many residents. Twenty-five per cent of the residents were below the federally defined poverty level, while rents and housing prices had skyrocketed beyond the reach of many local people, who were on fixed or low incomes. The Chamorro were at serious risk of losing control of their homeland, as green areas and significant ancestral burial sites were bulldozed and developed for housing and tourism. The United States Department of the Interior had taken an active role in inviting foreign businesses to build up Guam’s military-based economy. “Let’s be clear. Massive militarization is not development in the best interests or with the consent of the indigenous people of Guam and is in violation of the administering Power’s ‘sacred trust obligation’ under Article 73 of the United Nations Charter to ensure our transition from colonization to freedom.”

She said the military build-up would forever secure the political and cultural dispossession of the indigenous people of Guam, who were reminded time and again that they were “less than human and mere objects” by policy-makers and military leaders of the administering Power, including one Captain Douglas, who had stated bluntly: “People of Guam seem to forget that they are a possession and not an equal partner.” The Chamorro were requesting relief from the violence that the intensified militarization brought. The Special Committee must live up to its mandate and end its current policy of “colonial accommodation”. It should give top priority to the inalienable right of the Chamorro people to self-determination; work with the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in reporting on the decolonization process at its eighth session in 2009; denounce the administering Power’s “hyper-militarization” of Guam as a breach of trust; and implement measures to increase the coordination of United Nations agencies towards decolonization, providing corrective measures against the current and cumulative impacts of colonization and militarization.

Question of United States Virgin Islands

JULIETTE CHIN, presenting a statement by Judith L. Bourne, President of the United Nations Association of the Virgin Islands, said the lack of substantive positive movement on decolonization in the twenty-first century was a travesty of the Special Committee’s purpose, attributable largely to the indifference of some administering Powers, which sensed that Member States were no longer interested in real decolonization. A significant part of that was due to the inaction of the United Nations system, which had failed to carry out, or had inadequately carried out, the activities that the Special Committee had directed it to carry out in its annual resolutions.

For example, she said, in its resolution of 27 May on the dissemination of decolonization information, the Special Committee had referred to the information leaflet entitled What the United Nations Can Do to Assist Non-Self-Governing Territories. However, that document gave no insight on the agencies providing the assistance to which it referred. It was thus of questionable value, yet the resolution projected it as a major contribution to the dissemination of information on decolonization. Also, when queried in 2007, the Department of Public Information had been unable to give any indication as to whether the information had ever reached the Territories. Yet the resolution recognized the role of United Nations information centres in disseminating information to them. That was but one example of the disconnect between what the United Nations system said it did and what was actually done.

In the United States Virgin Islands, she said, awareness of the actual political status options available to the Territory’s people was virtually non-existent, despite decades of resolutions on the creation of education programmes on that issue. “The inability of this Committee to require the United Nations departments to actually carry out Committee decisions is nothing short of tragic.” The Special Committee had referred to the current constitutional convention as progress towards self-determination. Setting aside the fact that the United States law authorizing the development of a local constitution clearly delimited its scope to the confines of the present colonial relationship, a recent exchange illustrated both the abdication of any responsibility by the administering Power for the political education or development of the Territory and the lack of an informed consciousness there.

She said that, following the Governor’s request for technical assistance funding from the administering Power to fund the convention’s expenses, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary had responded: “Because your drafting of a constitution is an exercise in self-government, we believe it important that the entire effort, including the financing, be accomplished locally.” That response was in derogation of clear responsibilities of the administering Power. Clearly, a refusal to require action on the many valuable activities mandated in the Special Committee’s annual resolutions was to turn aside from its stated purpose. The United States itself had acknowledged to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 2007 that there had been no changes in the political status of any of the United States-administered Territories.

“Is there a new purpose to simply legitimize status quo colonial arrangements as some new acceptable form of self-government, contrary to the real situation on the ground?” she asked. “What happened to the case-by-case analysis, which the Committee adopted, which would have provided details on the current colonial arrangements? What happened to the Plan of Implementation of the Decolonization mandate, endorsed by the General Assembly, which called for much needed political analysis to be done by an independent expert? What happened to the proposal by Dominica at the opening of the Special Committee in February to create a working group to deal with the small territories?” It appeared that all those proposals, designed actually to carry out the decolonization mandate, had been systematically blocked, while the status quo continued.

Thus, less than two years before the end of the Second Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, she said, the Special Committee produced repetitive resolutions with no apparent prospect of implementation, with the cycle repeating itself over and over, year after year, while the United States Virgin Islands actually moved further away from activities and a mindset that encouraged self-determination. Perhaps the conclusions of the expert seminar on decolonization proposed by the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues would provide the Special Committee with much needed information on the dynamics of contemporary colonial arrangements. Territories committed to self-determination were deeply troubled that the United Nations appeared to be ready to abandon the decolonization process at the end of the present decade, declare victory and move on. The Special Committee was urged to demand that the United Nations system comply with its directives on decolonization.

The Special Committee then approved, without a vote, the draft resolution contained in document A/AC.109/2008/L.9.

* *** *

Monday, June 09, 2008

Military Buildup a Boon and a Test

Posted: June 9, 2008
Military Buildup Seen as Boom, Test for Tiny Island of Guam
PBS Newshour

In the next six years, the population of the U.S. Territory of Guam is expected to explode by 25 percent as the American military redploys thousands of its forces from Japan to the tiny Pacific Ocean island. The more than $15 billion project is expected to fuel the economy, but also threatens to strain its infrastructure and threaten its tourism industry. Catherine Norton reports for the Online NewsHour.

CATHERINE NORTON: As the closest American region to many of Asia's international flash-points, the U.S. Territory of Guam has been for decades home to some of the country's most critical military installations.

The island has held that role since World War II when hundreds of U.S. Marines stormed the beaches, to take back from the Japanese government this strategically important piece of real estate.

Japanese rule over the island had been at times brutal and its liberation on July 21, 1944 at the hands of the United States military, is something most Chamorro people would be forever grateful.

With diplomatic challenges in North Korea and China, the importance of the Navy and Air Force presence on Guam has only grown. But, as that role grows, so does the need for the military to control some of most prime real estate on the 32-mile long island.

As the military importance of Guam has increased, it has run into the fast-growing economy of the island, leading to tension between the island's residents and the military. Guam's leaders, seeking to bolster the island's tourist trade, pushed for greater independence from U.S. control, and sought to gain back ownership of prime real-estate occupied by military forces.

Mike Ady, a veteran and Guam businessman, said this was a strategy that in many ways back-fired.

MIKE ADY: When you basically tell them "We don't need you. You are not a welcome partner in our community." And our government just said, "We are making so much money on the Japanese economy that we don't need you." Well, what are you going to do? The military is going to say well obviously they don't need us. So fine, they close Naval Air Station, they close the Ship Repair Facility, they downsized all the Navy and then what happened, in my opinion, is the Chamber of Commerce -- the Armed Forces Committee was developed at the point of time -- a lot of business men from Guam got on an airplane and flew to Yukuska, (Japan) to the see the Admiral there and said "Admiral, we're sorry. We want you. You're our friends, you're our companions. Please come back." On bended knee. And that, they started bringing in the (USS) Kitty Hawk and having them do port calls here and leave here and as you see building up and building up.

CATHERINE NORTON: With the island much more amenable to continued military presence and the U.S. Department of Defense reassessing how to deploy its forces, growth of the military bases on Guam seemed likely.

After months of research and closed-door meetings, the Department of Defense announced in 2006 it would relocate 8,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa, Japan to Guam.

The 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force is anticipated to join 14,000 Military members already on Guam, and with them they are expected to bring 12,000 dependants. In addition, the other branches of the Armed Forces -- Navy, Air Force and Army -- are expected to increase its personnel on the island. Once settled, the total population is projected to rise to 40,000 Military members and their families, compared with the island's 170,000 inhabitants.

The move will bolster the island's tax base and fuel some parts of the economy. But some residents are worried about the impact the move will have on their island home.

Joey Duenas, who makes his living off the land buying and selling real estate, says it makes for uneasy neighbors.

JOEY DUENAS: There's the island of Guam and all of us who call it home and the military is like our neighbor, so it's like two neighbors and they are side by side like two houses and you kind of what to know what your neighbor is doing.

CATHERINE NORTON: Although many residents are skeptical at how open the military will be about its planning, the Defense Department has tapped Retired Marine Corps Major General David Bice to coordinate the massive operation. Working primarily from his Washington D.C. office, Bice's team on Guam is focused on working with the local population.

MAJOR GENERAL DAVID BICE: We're developing and identifying the construction projects that we expect to be started in 2010 both for the U.S. funding as well as for the Japanese direct cash funding as well. We are developing engineering studies, developing the project lists and the funding requirements for that. And then we will be presenting them through our normal budgetary process, both within the Department of Defense and it goes through the normal staffing and budgetary process and then it goes to the federal government.

CATHERINE NORTON: The project is huge, carrying a $15 billion price-tag that will be covered by the U.S. and Japanese government. Of those numbers, almost $6 billion will be new money spent on construction and direct investments, a figure that has many Guamanians believing they now have a world of economic and employment opportunities available to them.

Local entrepreneurs are leaving nothing to chance in their efforts to gain from this surge. Mike Ady, who owns and operates an office furniture and business systems company, says it is an opportunity, only if Guam businesses seize it.

MIKE ADY: My concern with these local businesses is they think that this is a lottery, that we won the lottery, it is not. The business is there, but they will not come to you, you have to go to them and if you do not have your ducks in a row and don't prepare yourself -- get your bond in, get your CCR registration, get your financial statements all in order -- the gun is going to go off and if you don't have all of these things ready, it is going to pass you right by.

CATHERINE NORTON: But no matter how much of the work is done by local businesses, some business people are sure the work will outpace the local resources. Cliff Guzman works for a local business that operates a multi-million dollar housing contract for Navy Guam.

CLIFF GUZMAN: Let's face it the fact of the matter is we have limited resources on Guam. So no matter how you cut that up, we are still going have limited resources, we're still going to have to depend on foreign workers to come in here or foreign companies bringing in their expertise. The key there is to join local business with some these other businesses from off-island so that some of those skill sets remain on Guam long after this buildup is over because a lot of the companies interested in the buildup are coming out here to support the building part or work for the planning part, but they are not here necessarily to run the operation once the buildings are built and the Marines are here.

CATHERINE NORTON: Making room for 20,000 new neighbors on a tiny island already with a population of 170,000 residents, will be an insurmountable task with huge implications. The Government of Guam is taking the lead to prepare areas outside of the military fences, to review the needs and to find the cash for improvements.

TONY LAMORENA: The reality is its not just going to be a military buildup, it will be a buildup on the civilian side as large or maybe a little smaller than the military buildup. With $15 billion being spent on the military installation and increasing military personnel and their families to 40,000, it is obvious there will be new businesses being established, new homes are going to be built and we are going to see an in-migration of -- we are anticipating 20,000 people including family members looking for work. So the impact on the local community is going to be just as great as it is going to be inside the base.

CATHERINE NORTON: Tony Lamorena oversees the Civilian Military Task Force -- the local business leaders spearheading buildup efforts on behalf of the community. Lamorena says they expect a corresponding buildup of off base structures, infrastructure, roadways and homes and possibly schools, much of that building will only happen once the Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, is signed.

TONY LAMORENA: The military is looking at bringing in 15,000 construction workers. We're anticipating the civilian side will need 10,000 construction workers. We're seeing it now where new condominium and housing developments are now being proposed and are being heard by the Guam land use commission. And yet we are still two and a half years from the EIS being approved and 2 and a half years from the major construction taking place.

CATHERINE NORTON: The community understands their island home is an important Military stronghold in Asia, but many question the economic as well as environmental and social costs.

Already the military has said it will need additional land for firing ranges and surface weapons testing areas. In addition, a deep pier may be needed to accommodate another aircraft carrier in Guam's Apra Harbor. The EIS has said the construction will impact the island's marine life and coral, but to what extent and how it will be mitigated has yet to be analyzed and published.

Once complete and approved in 2009, a Final Master Plan is expected to follow in the early part of 2010.

Guam's economy is already starting to show signs of growth from the buildup. An economic report published by First Hawaiian Bank shows a big part of the recent improvement in the Guam economy can be traced to this anticipation, with the largest growth in direct military contracts. The Pentagon's Joint Guam Program Office projects total spending to amount to between $2.0 and $2.5 billion annually, up from the historic average of about $500 million.

But business leaders say this massive growth will likely tax an already straining infrastructure.

TONY LAMORENA: Public works is in the process now of developing a comprehensive master plan for improving our roadways. The port authority just completed their master plan which calls for $195 million to improve their infrastructure. Right now the military has stated that their going to be bringing in an average of about 74,023 containers during the construction phase and then a sustainable level of 50,000 thereafter. So we're also expecting on the civilian side doubling, possibly even tripling.

CATHERINE NORTON: It is a worry the military shares.

MAJOR GENERAL DAVID BICE: We're cognizant of the financial, economic challenges facing the government of Guam and the people of Guam and that gives us impetus in terms of the inter-agency taskforce to take a look at the role the federal government can be doing both in directly supporting Department of Defense -- you know this is not just pure DOD effort, but because DOD relies on other federal agencies either for the environment studies that were doing or indirectly through Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, Department of Justice -- all those activities that have an indirect support to Department of Defense.

But also too, we are looking at what role the Department, excuse me, the federal government will be playing to support GovGuam.

CATHERINE NORTON: By the year 2014 the island will have grown in population by 25 percent. How that will impact the other major component of the economy -- tourism -- will be a delicate balancing act.

CLIFF GUZMAN: Tourism is right now our number one industry and so that connection has to be balanced because we can't look at this military buildup as one economic linchpin replacing another economic linchpin because there has billions of dollars invested in our tourism industry so balancing that is a very important piece of this.

CATHERINE NORTON: When 90 percent of Guam's tourists come from Japan, some are concerned that relocating U.S. Marines to Guam will tarnish the island's reputation as a pristine and safe family destination.

So while economically a 15-billion dollar Military buildup may bode well for Guam, its impact to Guam's billion dollar tourism industry must be weighed against other economic opportunities.

CLIFF GUZMAN: The concern is whether or not an influx of some 30,000 people onto the island is going to have an effect -- a detrimental effect on those visitors from Japan or Taiwan or the Philippines who come out here to visit. And so the cultural aspect is so important. If we don't try to preserve what we can then -- you know the sun, sand and sea is not going to be enough, it will never be enough because people are looking for an experience beyond just the beach.

CATHERINE NORTON: It is that effort to balance a massive military buildup on a beautiful tourist-dependent island that will be the focus of many of Guam's leaders. This military buildup will reshape the economy and the lives of most Guamanians. The push now among those residents and their leaders is to ensure it is a change for the better.

Reporting for the Online NewsHour, in cooperation with Guam Public Radio KPRG, I am Catherine Norton.

Editor's Note: This story was produced in partnership with the National Minority Consortia.

US Accused of Human Rights Violations by Chamorro Activists

Press Release
Monday, 9
June 2008

US accused of human rights violations

Two Chamoru representatives from Guam visiting Australia for a month-long international awareness campaign today accused the United States of glaring human rights violations of the indigenous Chamoru people.

"The new wave of U.S. militarization of Guam means to be decisive," said Chamoru writer Julian Aguon in Sydney today. "It is not simply more of the same. Part of the U.S. military realignment in the Asia-Pacific region includes the controversial relocation of 8,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa, Japan to Guam. The move will have devastating consequences for the indigenous Chamoru people, who have been struggling for decolonization of their island home.

"The situation of Guam serves as one of the greatest indictments of U.S. democratic legitimacy, as Guam remains one of only 16 non-self-governing territories in the modern world. The military build-up now underway in Guam, which will include an influx of a military personnel population comparable in size to the entire indigenous population (55,000), is being done entirely without the input or consultation of the indigenous people and over their deepening dissent."

Dr. Lisa Natividad, a professor at the University of Guam, stated that the new wave of military buildup will only worsen the well being of the Chamoru people, who already suffer from the classic symptoms of a colonial condition such as dramatic health disparities. "For example, rates of nasopharyngeal cancer among my people are 2,000% higher than in the United States, and the rate of diabetes is five times the national U.S. average," Dr Natividad said.

"Although Guam is only 30 miles long, it contains 19 sites designated by the US Environmental Protection Agency as the most highly contaminated and toxic sites in the entire United States." Dr. Natividad said. These toxins include radioactive and carcinogenic materials, dioxins, etc.

"We come to Australia in the hope of raising awareness about the human rights deprivations of the Chamoru people by the U.S, to build solidarity among the peace and justice groups here and throughout the Asia-Pacific region, who are all endangered by current U.S. militarization of the region," she said.

For more information and interviews with Lisa Natividad and Julian Aguon.
please contact Dr Hannah Middleton on 0418 668 098

Sunday, June 08, 2008

B-2 Crash Video

Footage from the 2/23/08 crash of a B-2 Bomber on Guam.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Unclear How Guam Will Be Impacted by Continental's Cuts

Impact of airline's cuts on Guam still unclear
By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno
Pacific Daily News
June 7, 2008

The parent company of Guam-based Continental Micronesia announced it will reduce flights and lay off about 3,000 managers and employees worldwide because of jet fuel prices.

"Our fuel expense this year would be $2.3 billion more than it was last year. That increase alone amounts to about $50,000 per employee," Houston-based Continental Airlines stated in a bulletin to employees.

What Continental Airlines' cutbacks mean to its employees on Guam and the rest of Micronesia is unclear at this time. Continental Micronesia's Guam office isn't commenting on the flight cuts and layoffs announced by its parent company's corporate office.

Grace Garces, with Continental Micronesia's marketing office, said there's nothing to add to what corporate has announced.

On Guam, Continental Micronesia employs about 1,500 people and its $90 million annual payroll has been an asset to the local economy.

When Continental Airlines trimmed as many as 12,000 of its 56,000 global workforce weeks after 9/11, about 250 Continental Micronesia employees were furloughed, according to Pacific Daily News files.

"Continental doesn't anticipate any further comment until after it has had the opportunity to meet with employees during the next week," the airline's Houston corporate office stated.

The airline stated fare increases haven't been enough to cover its soaring jet fuel costs.

They acknowledged, with higher fares, fewer people will fly.

"As fewer customers fly, we will need to reduce our capacity. ... As we reduce our capacity, we will need fewer employees to operate the airline," according to the company statement to its employees.

Continental's 3,000 global job cuts translate to almost a 7 percent reduction in its 45,000 global workforce. The job reductions will take effect after the peak summer season, except for management and clerical reductions, which will begin sooner, the airline states.

"The company will offer voluntary programs in an effort to reduce the number of co-workers who will be furloughed or involuntarily terminated due to the capacity cuts. Details of these programs will be available next week," the airline states.

The airline industry is facing its worst crisis since the terror attacks in 2001, Continental states.

Guam tourism
There's concern globally in the tourism and travel industry about soaring fuel prices, said Gerry Perez, Guam Visitors Bureau general manager.

He said airlines in general are trying to cope by reducing flights and maximizing capacity. The best way to insulate Guam from the impact of any reduction in flights is to aggressively promote the island, he said.

But the visitors bureau's marketing cash has been dwindling, from as much as $18 million for Japan marketing alone in the late 1990s to less than $6 million for Japan marketing last year.

When fuel prices make travel to longer-haul destinations more expensive, Perez said there's a possible "a silver lining" for Guam in the race for tourists from Japan.

But Perez said that silver lining is "a maybe."

Overall, fuel-related economic jitters and the global credit crunch have dampened enthusiasm for travel worldwide, he said.

Still, Guam's visitor arrivals in May showed a rebound from April. Preliminary arrival numbers show Japanese arrivals went up 5 percent and South Korean arrivals increased 15 percent last month compared to May last year, Perez said.

Houston cuts
Continental Chairman and Chief Executive Lawrence Kellner, and President Jeff Smisek, will forgo pay for the rest of the year, the airline stated.

Last year, Kellner's salary was $712,500 and total compensation was valued at nearly $6 million by the company, down 9.3 percent from the year before, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

However, about one-third of Kellner's compensation was in stock and option grants that are now worth far less than they were when granted in February 2007, because of the slump in the company's stock, the AP reported.

Fewer flights
The airline states it will implement flight reductions in September, at the end of the summer season. Available seats for domestic flights will drop by about 11 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period last year.

Continental will retire 67 Boeing 737-300 and 737-500 aircraft between now and next year and replace them with fuel-efficient aircraft, the airline states.

In the second half of this year, Continental will receive its order for 16 new, next-generation Boeing 737-800s and 737-900ERs. It will receive 18 more of the fuel-efficient aircraft next year. Continental's fleet will shrink from 375 this year to 344 aircraft next year.

Jet fuel is at $151 a barrel now, a 75 percent increase from a year ago, according to Continental.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

UN Committee Approves Visiting Missions

04 June 2008
UN Committee Approves Resolutions on Information and Visiting Missions
The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation adopted three resolutions on 27th May 2008 at the beginning of its substantive session. The texts read virtually identical to the 2007 resolutions adopted by the committee, and vary little from those adopted annually by the committee since before the beginning of the decade.

The resolutions provide some formidable activities that if carried out over the years of their adoption would have moved the decolonisation process significantly ahead. However, the level of UN implementation has not kept pace with the activities prescribed, necesitating the repetition of the projected activities each year.

The texts now go to the U.N. Fourth Committee for consideration in the fall before being considered by the full General Assembly for adoption in early December.

The actual text of the resolutions are reproduced below.



Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted
under Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 1970 (XVIII) of 16 December 1963, in which it requested the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples to study the information transmitted to the Secretary-General in accordance with Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations and to take such information fully into account in examining the situation with regard to the implementation of the Declaration, contained in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960,

Recalling also its resolution 62/112 of 17 December 2007, in which it requested the Special Committee to continue to discharge the functions entrusted to it under resolution 1970 (XVIII),

Stressing the importance of timely transmission by the administering Powers of adequate information under Article 73 e of the Charter, in particular in relation to the preparation by the Secretariat of the working papers on the Territories concerned,

Having examined the report of the Secretary-General,

1. Reaffirms that, in the absence of a decision by the General Assembly itself that a Non-Self-Governing Territory has attained a full measure of self-government in terms of Chapter XI of the Charter of the United Nations, the administering Power concerned should continue to transmit information under Article 73 e of the Charter with respect to that Territory;

2. Requests the administering Powers concerned, in accordance with their Charter obligations, to transmit or continue to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General for information purposes, subject to such limitation as security and constitutional considerations may require, statistical and other information of a technical nature relating to economic, social and educational conditions in the Territories for which they are respectively responsible, as well as the fullest possible information on political and constitutional developments in the Territories concerned, including the constitution, legislative act or executive order providing for the government of the Territory and the constitutional relationship of the Territory to the administering Power, within a maximum period of six months following the expiration of the administrative year in those Territories;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to ensure that adequate information is drawn from all available published sources in connection with the preparation of the working papers relating to the Territories concerned;

4. Requests the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples to continue to discharge the functions entrusted to it under General Assembly resolution 1970 (XVIII), in accordance with established procedures.



Dissemination of information on decolonization

The General Assembly,

Having examined the chapter of the report of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples relating to the dissemination of information on decolonization and publicity for the work of the United Nations in the field of decolonization,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, containing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, and other resolutions and decisions of the United Nations concerning the dissemination of information on decolonization, in particular Assembly resolution 61/129 of 14 December 2006,

Recognizing the need for flexible, practical and innovative approaches towards reviewing the options of self-determination for the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories with a view to implementing the plan of action for the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism,

Reiterating the importance of dissemination of information as an instrument for furthering the aims of the Declaration, and mindful of the role of world public opinion in effectively assisting the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories to achieve self-determination,

Recognizing the role played by the administering Powers in transmitting information to the Secretary-General in accordance with the terms of Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recognizing also the role of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat, through the United Nations information centres, in the dissemination of information at the regional level on the activities of the United Nations,

Welcoming the issuance by the Department, in consultation with the United Nations Development Programme, the specialized agencies and the Special Committee, of an information leaflet on assistance programmes available to the Non-Self-Governing Territories,

Aware of the role of non-governmental organizations in the dissemination of information on decolonization,

1. Approves the activities in the field of dissemination of information on decolonization undertaken by the Department of Public Information and the Department of Political Affairs of the Secretariat, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations on decolonization, in particular the preparation, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 61/129, of the information leaflet entitled “What the UN Can Do to Assist Non-Self-Governing Territories”, issued in March 2007, and encourages wide dissemination of the information leaflet;

2. Considers it important to continue and expand its efforts to ensure the widest possible dissemination of information on decolonization, with particular emphasis on the options of self-determination available for the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories, and to this end, requests the Department of Public Information to empower the United Nations information centres in the relevant regions to disseminate material to the Non-Self-Governing Territories;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to further enhance the information provided on the United Nations decolonization website by including the full series of reports of the regional seminars on decolonization, the statements and scholarly papers presented at those seminars and links to the full series of reports of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples;

4. Requests the Department of Public Information to continue its efforts to update web-based information on the assistance programmes available to the Non Self-Governing Territories;

5. Requests the Department of Political Affairs and the Department of Public Information to implement the recommendations of the Special Committee and to continue their efforts to take measures through all the media available, including publications, radio and television, as well as the Internet, to give publicity to the work of the United Nations in the field of decolonization and, inter alia:

(a) To develop procedures to collect, prepare and disseminate, particularly to the Territories, basic material on the issue of self-determination of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories;

(b) To seek the full cooperation of the administering Powers in the discharge of the tasks referred to above;

(c) To explore the idea of a programme of collaboration with the decolonization focal points of territorial Governments, particularly in the Pacific and Caribbean regions, to help improve the exchange of information;

(d) To encourage the involvement of non-governmental organizations in the dissemination of information on decolonization;

(e) To encourage the involvement of Non-Self-Governing Territories in the dissemination of information on decolonization;

(f) To report to the Special Committee on measures taken in the implementation of the present resolution;

6. Requests all States, including the administering Powers, to accelerate the dissemination of information referred to in paragraph 2 above;

7. Requests the Special Committee to continue to examine this question and to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session on the implementation of the present resolution.


Question of sending visiting and special missions to Territories

The Special Committee,

Having considered the question of sending visiting missions to Territories,

Recalling the relevant resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly and the Special Committee requesting the administering Powers to cooperate fully with the United Nations by receiving visiting missions in the Territories under their administration,

Mindful that United Nations visiting missions provide an effective means of assessing the situation in those Territories and of ascertaining the wishes and aspirations of the peoples thereof regarding their future status,

Conscious that United Nations visiting missions enhance the capacity of the United Nations to assist the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories in attaining the objectives set forth in the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, contained in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, in other relevant resolutions of the Assembly and in the plan of action for the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism,

Noting with appreciation the continuing exemplary cooperation of New Zealand, as an administering Power, in the work of the Special Committee, and that, at the invitation of the Government of New Zealand, two missions to observe the referendums in Tokelau were dispatched, in February 2006 and October 2007,

Recalling with satisfaction the cooperation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as the administering Power, in facilitating the United Nations special mission to the Turks and Caicos Islands in April 2006 at the request of the territorial Government,

Recalling the importance of the previously expressed desire of the territorial Governments of American Samoa and of Anguilla for a visiting mission by the Special Committee,

1. Stresses the need to dispatch periodic visiting missions to Non-Self-Governing Territories in order to facilitate the full, speedy and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples with respect to those Territories, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations on decolonization and the plan of action of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism;1

2. Calls upon the administering Powers that have not yet done so to cooperate or continue to cooperate with the United Nations by facilitating United Nations visiting missions to the Territories under their administration, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations on decolonization;

3. Requests the administering Powers to cooperate fully with the Special Committee in exploring the possibility of undertaking visiting or special missions in furtherance of the decolonization mandate of the General Assembly;

4. Requests its Chair to continue consultations with the administering Powers concerned and to report thereon to the Special Committee on the results of those consultations.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

F-22s on their way to Guam

F-22s on their way to AAFB
by Ronna Sweeney, KUAM News
Sunday, June 01, 2008

While no specific date of arrival has been made available just yet, KUAM News has been able to confirm that U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft will be making their way to Guam. 36th Wing Commander General Doug Owens says that F-22s are headed to Andersen Air Force Base.The F-22 Raptor is the USAF's newest fighter aircraft, performing both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.