The Commission on Decolonization (COD) was established by the 24th Guam Legislature in 1997. Its purpose is to educate the people of Guam on the available political status options: Statehood, Independence, and Free Association. COD is charged with carrying out the mandates of Public Law 23-147, which include educating the community in preparation for an eventual political status plebiscite vote for the purpose of:
The first comprehensive scholarly study detailing the drawbacks and deficiencies of Guam’s status as an unincorporated Territory. Giha Mo’na provides an in-depth look at the opportunities and challenges of each political status option over a variety of topic areas.
Part I uses the Self-Governance Indicators, an internationally recognized tool, to analyze the political relationship between Guam and its administering Power, the United States. The SGIs help to determine the ways in which Guam, as an unincorporated Territory, lacks genuine Self-Governance.
Part II takes a deep dive into the ways in which Guam has been affected by unincorporated Territory status and the opportunities and challenges that may come with each of the three political status options in various areas related to Governance, Social Impacts, Economic Impacts, Environmental Sustainability, Land and Natural Resources, and External Affairs and Defense.
The community through outreach, partnerships, and engagement with:
Asa U.S. state, Guam would obtain:
Under the political status of Independence, Guam would become its own country and would gain full sovereignty. Being sovereign means that the island’s government would be internally supreme and externally equal to other countries.
As an independent nation, we will be able to prioritize the distinct needs of all who call Guam home. We will work together to create a government guided by our values. Independence will allow us to protect our lands and waters; revitalize our language; revive our health; and reinvigorate our community.
Free Association is a relationship between two sovereign nations. As a sovereign nation, Guam would have the ability to enter into a Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the United States. This would give us the opportunity to establish our own form of government and create laws that would address our needs while also making Guam an equal partner with the United States.
Like Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam could negotiate for defense and financial assistance in its Compact that would aid in the development of the island community.
What is Decolonization? What is Self-Determination? What does being an Unincorporated Territory mean? What are the three status options available to the people of Guam? | Get these questions answered and more with
Decolonization 101: The Quest for Self-Governance | WATCH THE VIDEO