“Old-Style Colonialism” at the United Nations

June 4, 2010

Viewers of The Insular Empire will recall Hope Cristobal’s repeated visits to the United Nations, trying to get support for Guam’s Chamorro people and their right to self-determinaion. Hope continued her decades-long crusade last month, traveling to the United Nations’ Pacific Regional Seminar on Decolonisation in New Caledonia.

“For 21st century Guam, it is déjà vu old-style colonialism again,” Hope explained in her testimony to the Special Committee on Decolonization. “This time it is not 17th century Spain, but the US administering power utilizing its military forces in a kind of ‘reduccion’ process of ‘subduing, converting and gathering the natives through the establishment of missions and stationing of soldiers to protect those missions.’

“The US has completely ignored the negative implications to its colonial people’s human, political and legal right to self-determination…. and time, Mr. Chairman is not on our side.”

Hope, speaking on behalf of the Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice and the Chamorro Studies Association, laid out a list of recommendations:

1. That the inalienable right of the Chamorro people of Guam to self-determination in conformity with all relevant UN documents be given utmost priority by the Special Committee on Decolonization in view of the administering power’s massive militarization planned from 2010 to 2014.

2. That a customized process of decolonization for the Chamorro people of Guam be immediately adopted in view of the severe irreversible impacts on Guam by the US administering power.

3. That an investigation be conducted as to the compliance of the administering power with its treaty obligations under the Charter of the United Nations to promote the economic and social development and to preserve the cultural identity of the Territories as related earlier in this text.

4. That a study must be conducted on the implications of US militarization plans on Guam’s decolonization and that UN funding be allocated immediately.

5. That the UN denounce the militarization of the non-self-governing territory of Guam without the consent of the people of Guam due to irreparable harm to the inalienable human rights of the Chamorro people and interests of the people of Guam.

6. That a work programme be adopted by the Special Committee to carry out its objectives for the decolonization of Guam.

Amazingly, Hope received not one question – not one comment – after her presentation to the Seminar, nor to her second appeal to the Special Committee.

Hope’s full testimony can be read here.