Speaker Tina Muña Barnes on Thursday introduced a resolution seeking Guam’s membership with the international member-based organization known as the Unrepresented Nations and People Organization (UNPO).
Resolution 255-35 is co-sponsored by Sen. Joe S. San Agustin, Sen. Kelly Marsh (Taitano), Sen. Amanda L. Shelton, and Sen. Jose “Pedo” Terlaje.
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.
“When faced with tribulation, we must keep on. We must keep trying,” Muna Barnes said. “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,” said U.S. Sen. Paul Strauss
“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.”