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:

  • Ascertaining the intent of the people of Guam, in accordance with Guam law, as to their future political relationship with the United States
  • Resolving and ending Guam’s current unincorporated Territory status
  • Achieving a full measure of Self-Governance for Guam

Meet the Task Forces

As set forth by Public Law 23-147, the Commission onDecolonization’s public education mandate is undertaken in conjunctionwiththethree(3)politicalstatustaskforces.CODdoesnotadvocateforaparticular status, but rather the need to change Guam’s currentunincorporatedTerritorystatus.

Asa U.S. state, Guam would obtain:

  • State sovereignty/local autonomy in all state matters
  • Complete protection under the U.S. Constitution
  • Permanent U.S. citizenship
  • The ability to vote for U.S. Congressional representation and the U.S. President
  • The ability to write a state constitution
  • The ability to determine local government organization
  • The ability to set up our tax structure
  • Equality with all other U.S. states.
  • Equitable federal funds, programs, grants, and aid
  • National defense protection from foreign threats or invasion


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.


Decolonization 101:
The Quest for Self-Governance

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

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