The right to self-determination

On June 15, 2021, the United NationsSpecial Committee on Decolonization (C-24)convened its regular session, an annual gathering of Non-Self-Governing Territories such as Guam, and their administering powers. At its session, the special committee heard testimony from Gov. Lou Leon Guererro delivered by Anthony Marion Babauta. Following is the full transcript of the governor's testimony.

By Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero

Buenas yan Hafa Adai, Madam Chair and members of the Committee:

It has been 60 years since this Committee was created and nearly 40 years since the first testimony on behalf of the indigenous people of Guam was brought to this committee.

Despite this longstanding history of advocacy, the needs and demands of the CHamoru people have fallen on the seemingly deaf ears of our administering power. In direct denial of the people of Guam's sustained calls for a change in political status, the United States federal government continues to not only hinder the CHamoru people's right to self-determination, but threaten the social, economic and overall well being of Guam and her people.

As detailed by a joint letter to United States President Joseph R. Biden by three UN Special Rapporteurs, on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, on Human Rights and the Environment, and on Toxics and Human Rights, our colonial power's ongoing militarization of Guam constitutes a violation of several human rights.

Among them the right to self-determination, the right to free, prior and informed consent, the right to a clean environment, and the right to culture, health, and life. I