Speaker Tina Muña Barnes has introduced Resolution 255-35 which seeks to make Guam a member of the Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organization (UNPO).
According to the Speaker, Resolution 255-35 (LS) recognizes Guam’s absence of representation and aims to become a member of the international member-based UNPO, which 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,” the Speaker said in a news release.
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, Barnes said DC leaders have managed to bring forth their concerns of inequality and unite the voices of those who wish to be heard.
US Senator Paul Strauss, DC Shadow Senator, is already welcoming Guam to the UNPO.
“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,” Strauss said in a statement released by the Speaker’s Office.
He added: “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.”