On August 23, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the University of Guam CLASS Lecture Hall, Independent Guåhan is organizing a forum titled “United Natives: Report Back on International Activism on Decolonization and Chamoru Rights.” This event will provide updates on the work of young activists who are developing greater visibility for Guåhan internationally, new possibilities for engagement at the United Nations, and a wider network for solidarity. This event is free and open to the public.
The first delegation of Chamorus to travel to the United Nations in New York was in 1982. They testified on the “Question of Guam” and called on the United States to fulfill its obligation to decolonize Guåhan and assist its people towards genuine self-government. Since that time, dozens of others have travelled to the United Nations; however, much of this engagement is limited to the Fourth Committee of the UN, which oversees the decolonization of the remaining 17 non-self-governing territories in the world.
Last October, Independent Guåhan assisted with the organization of a historic delegation that traveled again to New York to testify before the Fourth Committee. This effort, combined with the work of local activists and the Commission on Decolonization, has led to a number of new strategies for developing international outreach. In addition to submitting testimony at the UN and meeting with nations that are sympathetic to Guåhan’s desire for decolonization, individual activists have taken on prestigious fellowships that provide new connections to solidarity networks, especially around the rights of indigenous peoples.
The panelists for this forum are: Amanda Blas, the former Executive Director for the Guam Commission on Decolonization; Manny Cruz, an Indigenous Fellow for the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights; Pim Limtiaco and Julia Faye Munoz, who testified before the Committee of 24 in New York earlier this year; Camarin Quiuigua, who participated earlier this year in the International Program on Human Rights and Advocacy Skills of the Indigenous Women’s Global Leadership School; and Siobhon McManus, who recently attended the International Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.