PNC :: Guam & Territorial Issues In Focus At National AG Meeting
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Guam - Multiple issues that affect the U.S. territories in the Pacific region were addressed by Attorney General Alicia Limtiaco,
Assistant Secretary Anthony Babauta, U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Insular Affairs, and UOG President Dr. Robert A. Underwood during a recent national meeting held by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).
The Plenary Session titled “Issues Facing the United States Territories – Their Unique Status” was chaired by Attorney General Limtiaco and included, in addition to Babauta and Underwood, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Vincent Frazer, and Peter Hiebert, Legal Counsel, U.S. Virgin Islands Government.
The meeting marked the first time in NAAG’s history that a panel on Pacific Island issues was included in a NAAG national meeting. It was made possible after a request was made by Attorney General Limtiaco to NAAG and the Planning Committee of the 2009 Winter Meeting.
Assisting Attorney General Limtiaco in the planning and organization of the panel discussion were U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Vincent Frazer and American Samoa Attorney General Fepulea’i Afa (Arthur) Ripley, Jr.
“The issues that Assistant Secretary Babauta, Dr. Underwood and I, along with General Frazer and Attorney Hiebert, discussed will go a long way in helping other jurisdictions better understand the unique status of Guam and other Pacific Island territories and the issues that affect them,” Attorney General Limtiaco said.
Some of the issues that were discussed by the panel included national security, the impact of the military buildup in Guam, island resources and infrastructures, the economy, trade, labor, and immigration.
The meeting served as a venue to provide information and insight to Attorney General members of NAAG on key issues that impact Pacific Island territories, which may differ from or have no application to the states.
The participation of Assistant Secretary Babauta, via video, and Dr. Underwood, via teleconference, provided other Attorneys General from all over the United States with a comprehensive overview of the challenges Guam faces in different areas, Attorney General Limtiaco said.
Assistant Secretary Babauta also spoke about matters relative to all U.S. possessions in the Pacific region, which are under the purview of the Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs.
“I believe that it is through this networking and comprehension of each jurisdiction’s legal and socio-economic-related concerns that progress will continue to be made in the various areas that were discussed,” Attorney General Limtiaco said.
The National Association of Attorneys General is comprised of the Attorneys General of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the territories of Guam, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands, and the commonwealths of the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.
Part of NAAG’s mission is to improve the quality of legal services provided to the states and territories, as well as to facilitate communication between the states’ chief legal officers and all levels of government.
Attorney General Limtiaco is a co-chair of the NAAG Criminal Law and Youth Access to Alcohol and Drugs Committees.
AG Dr Underwood: Guam Attorney General Alicia Limtiaco, standing, and Attorneys General from various states listen to UOG President Dr. Robert Underwood via teleconference during the National Association of Attorneys General 2009 Winter Meeting. Underwood's powerpoint presentation is seen on the screen at right. The meeting marked the first time that issues affecting Guam and other pacific islands were included in the national meetings.
NAAG Winter Meeting: Guam Attorney General Alicia Limtiaco, right, Virgin Islands Attorney General Vincent Frazer, middle, and Peter Hiebert, Legal Counsel, U.S. Virgin Islands, listen as Assistant Secretary Anthony Babauta, U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Insular Affairs, speaks via video during the National Association of Attorneys General 2009 Winter Meeting. Babauta, along with UOG President Dr. Robert Underwood, were members of the "Issues Facing the United States Territories - Their Unique Status" panel, which General Limtiaco chaired. It was the first time that issues affecting pacific islands were included in the national meetings.
Written by : News Release