28 August 2016

Puerto Rico civil action grows against the U.S. takeover of territory's financial management








SAN JUAN – Protesters in Puerto Rico called Wednesday for the repeal of a law that establishes an oversight board to oversee the debt-saddled U.S. commonwealth’s finances.

“No to the board and no to the debt,” Shelimar Velazquez, a spokeswoman for the protesters, said at a press conference outside the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico in San Juan.

Around 50 people – most of them under 30 – have gathered at a protest camp at that site since June 29.

She said the group’s priority was to secure the repeal of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, which President Obama signed into law in late June.

PROMESA is undemocratic and will ensure payments are made on “illegitimate” public debt while redirecting funds away from basic services such as health care, education and public transport, Velazquez said.

The law installed a financial control board to restructure Puerto Rico’s massive $68 billion debt load and provided a retroactive stay on lawsuits by bondholders.

Last month, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings downgraded Puerto Rico’s general obligation, or GO, bonds to D (default), the lowest possible level, after the U.S. commonwealth’s government missed payment on nearly $780 million worth of that constitutionally guaranteed debt.

Puerto Rico has been mired in a recession for a decade and experienced a large increase in migration to the mainland United States in recent years.


26 August 2016

Mónica y Puerto Rico


elnuevodia.com

Claridad


Puerto Rico es mi fuerza”. Con esa expresión, la puertorriqueña Mónica Puig Marchán explica la gesta histórica que acaba de realizar al conseguir para su patria la primera medalla de oro en unos juegos olímpicos, con su actuación estelar en el deporte del tenis durante los Juegos Olímpicos que se celebran en Río de Janeiro, Brasil. 


Para ganarse esa medalla de oro, que la convierte en primerísima figura del tenis mundial, Mónica tuvo que de luchar largo y tendido. Se enfrentó a rivales poderosas, entre ellas algunas de las principales raquetas femeninas del mundo, en seis partidos durísimos. Pero, tal y como ella señaló, este era su momento. 

Y así lo demostró su actuación contundente durante todo el torneo, y su victoria limpia y clara en el juego por la medalla de oro. Sin duda, estamos ante la mejor tenista del mundo al presente y, además, boricua, lo cual ha quedado consignado para la posteridad en los anales del olimpismo mundial.

En los días transcurridos desde que Mónica convirtió su oro en nuestra alegría, se ha dicho y escrito mucho sobre el significado de su victoria, una victoria fraguada en 67 años de participación deportiva internacional, por parte de cientos de atletas puertorriqueños, hombres y mujeres que, con recursos o sin ellos, han dado alma, vida y corazón para representar dignamente a nuestra patria en el escenario deportivo internacional. 

Mónica es la heredera triunfante de la honrosa tradición que se inició en el 1948, con la primera participación de Puerto Rico en unos juegos olímpicos, y que sigue empeñada en que nuestro país sostenga en alto su soberanía deportiva, como medio de ocupar nuestro espacio en el deporte más allá de nuestras fronteras.

Porque es consciente de ello, Mónica no ha dejado de repetir cuánto quería ganar esa medalla, no solo por el significado que tiene para ella como atleta del más alto nivel en su deporte, sino, sobre todo, para hacer cumplir su sueño y el nuestro de que sonaran con fuerza los acordes de nuestro himno nacional, La Borinqueña, y que se elevara en todo su esplendor nuestra bandera en lo más alto del podio olímpico. 

La medalla de oro que logró Mónica es un hito también porque la logra una mujer, precisamente en el año en que, por primera vez, las atletas mujeres son la mayoría de la delegación que nos representa en Río de Janeiro, y que está encabezada por la Presidenta del Comité Olímpico de Puerto Rico, Sara Rosario, la primera y única mujer en haber presidido el máximo organismo deportivo nacional. 

Mónica Puig Marchán logró un triunfo deportivo enorme que nadie antes que ella había logrado. Lo hizo sin alardes ni fanfarrias, motivada solo por el noble deseo de convertir su sueño en motivo de orgullo para la inmensa mayoría de nuestro pueblo. Sobran, pues, las razones para celebrar este momento perfecto, en el cual ella marcó para siempre la historia de su vida y la de Puerto Rico.

ALSO READ:   Mónica ganó con todo en contra



25 August 2016

Juventud Hostosiana saluda a la Delegación Olímpica Puertorriqueña




MOVIMIENTO INDEPENDENTISTA NACIONAL HOSTOSIANO 

La Juventud Hostosiana saluda a todos y todas las atletas del Comité Olímpico de Puerto Rico que llevaron nuestro nombre en alto en los pasados Juegos Olímpicos celebrados en Río de Janeiro, Brasil
Escrito por Juventud Hostosiana / MINH 
  
“Más allá de la medalla de oro, lo ocurrido en Río de Janeiro fue un momento de felicidad de pueblo y de orgullo que ante la crisis en que vivimos muestra de lo que somos capaces. Por nuestra parte, nos enorgullece que en estos juegos las mujeres jóvenes, desde la tenismesista Adriana Díaz hasta nuestra primera medallista olímpica de oro Mónica Puig, pusieron en alto el nombre de Puerto Rico a través del deporte”, arguyó la joven Lenna Marielis, miembro de la organización. 

Alguna de las muestras históricas de nuestra delegación fue la llegada a la final de 400 metros con vallas por Culson, las gestas de lucha de Franklin Gómez y Jaime Espinal, la gesta de la tenismesista Adriana Díaz, la primera presentación olímpica de nuestro equipo de voleibol femenino, la primera final de un clavadista puertorriqueño y la primera medalla de oro olímpico obtenida por nuestra Mónica Puig en tenis sencillo; entre otras gestas históricas de la delegación participante del evento.

“Este legado dejado por nuestros atletas es una muestra más del valor del deporte, de la juventud y de la esperanza ante la crisis que enfrentamos en el país. Como juventud que lucha por la independencia de Puerto Rico y por un futuro mejor, vemos a este grupo de jóvenes que regresan victoriosos y victoriosas como un ejemplo de lo que es posible para nuestro país”, expresó Leslie Ann Ruiz, también integrante de la organización.

24 August 2016

Former Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress to address Guam Women's Chamber of Commerce

congress.gov

The Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce its General Membership Meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 25, 2016, at The View, located at the Pacific Star Resort & Spa. GWCC’s keynote speaker will be the Honorable Donna M. Christensen. 

Christensen is the first female physician in the history of the U.S. Congress, the first woman to represent an offshore territory, and the first woman delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands. She served as the non-voting delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 until 2015. 

 Prior to entering politics, Christensen began her medical career in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1975 as an emergency room physician at St. Croix Hospital. Between 1987 and 1988 she was medical director of the St. Croix Hospital and from 1988 to 1994 she was Commissioner of Health for the Virgin Islands. From 1977 to 1996 Christensen maintained a private practice in family medicine and was also a television journalist from 1992 to 1996.


As a member of the Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands, she served as Democratic National Committeewoman, member of the Democratic Territorial Committee and Delegate to all the Democratic Conventions in 1984, 1988 and 1992. 

 Christensen was also elected to the Virgin Islands Board of Education in 1984 and served for two years. She served as a member of the Virgin Islands Status Commission from 1988 to 1992. In 1996 Christensen was elected as the non-voting delegate from the Virgin Islands in the U.S. Congress.  

Despite her non-voting status, she served on various house committees including the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Homeland Security. She also chaired the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs and was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus, Congressional Rural Caucus, Friends of the Caribbean Caucus, Coastal Caucus, and the Congressional National Guard and Reserve Caucus.



23 August 2016

Turks & Caicos Islands should have a constitution which "reflects the aspirations and wishes of its people" - U.N. Committee


adopted by the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation 

Question of the Turks and Caicos Islands


Question of the Turks and Caicos Islands


          The General Assembly,

          Having considered the question of the Turks and Caicos Islands,

          Having examined the relevant chapter of the report of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples for 2016, related to the Turks and Caicos Islands,[1]

          Taking note of the working paper prepared by the Secretariat on the Turks and Caicos Islands[2] and other relevant information,

          Recognizing that all available options for self-determination of the Territory are valid as long as they are in accordance with the freely expressed wishes of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands and in conformity with the clearly defined principles contained in General Assembly resolutions 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, 1541 (XV) of 15 December 1960 and other resolutions of the Assembly,

          Expressing concern that 56 years after the adoption of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples,[3] there still remain 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories, including the Turks and Caicos Islands,

          Conscious of the importance of continuing the effective implementation of the Declaration, taking into account the target set by the United Nations to eradicate colonialism by 2020 and the plans of action for the Second[4] and Third International Decades for the Eradication of Colonialism,

          Recognizing that the specific characteristics and the aspirations of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands require flexible, practical and innovative approaches to the options for self-determination, without any prejudice to territorial size, geographical location, size of population or natural resources,

          Convinced that the wishes and aspirations of the people of the Territory should continue to guide the development of their future political status and that referendums, free and fair elections and other forms of popular consultation play an important role in ascertaining the wishes and aspirations of the people,

          Concerned by the use and exploitation of the natural resources of the Non-Self-Governing Territories by the administering Powers for their benefit, by the use of the Territories as tax havens to the detriment of the world economy and by the consequences of any economic activities of the administering Powers that are contrary to the interests of the people of the Territories, as well as to resolution 1514 (XV),

          Convinced that any negotiations to determine the status of the Territory must take place with the active involvement and participation of the people of the Territory, under the auspices of the United Nations, on a case-by-case basis, and that the views of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands in respect of their right to self-determination should be ascertained,

          Noting the continued cooperation of the Non-Self-Governing Territories at the local and regional levels, including participation in the work of regional organizations,

          Mindful that, in order for the Special Committee to enhance its understanding of the political status of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands and to fulfil its mandate effectively, it is important for it to be apprised by the administering Power and to receive information from other appropriate sources, including the representatives of the Territory, concerning the wishes and aspirations of the people of the Territory,

          Aware of the importance both to the Turks and Caicos Islands and to the Special Committee of the participation of elected and appointed representatives of the Turks and Caicos Islands in the work of the Committee,

          Recognizing the need for the Special Committee to ensure that the appropriate bodies of the United Nations actively pursue a public awareness campaign aimed at assisting the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands with their inalienable right to self-determination and in gaining a better understanding of the options for self-determination, on a case-by-case basis,

          Mindful, in that connection, that the holding of regional seminars in the Caribbean and Pacific regions and at Headquarters, with the active participation of representatives of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, provides a helpful means for the Special Committee to fulfil its mandate and that the regional nature of the seminars, which alternate between the Caribbean and the Pacific, is a crucial element in the context of a United Nations programme for ascertaining the political status of the Territories,

          Welcoming the Pacific regional seminar held by the Special Committee in Managua and hosted by the Government of Nicaragua from 31 May to 2 June 2016 as a significant and forward-looking event, which enabled the participants to assess the progress made in the decolonization process and to review the existing working methods of the Committee and renew its momentum in implementing its historic task,

          Recognizing the importance of the conclusions and recommendations adopted by the seminar, which are annexed to the report of the Special Committee[5] and which outline the findings of the seminar, including, especially, the way forward for the decolonization process within the context of the proclamation by the General Assembly of the period 2011-2020 as the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism,[6]

          Noting with appreciation the contribution to the development of some Territories by the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, in particular the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Food Programme, as well as regional institutions such as the Caribbean Development Bank, the Caribbean Community, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, the Pacific Islands Forum and the agencies of the Council of Regional Organizations in the Pacific,

          Taking note of the statement made by the representative of the Turks and Caicos Islands at the Caribbean regional seminar held in Managua from 19 to 21 May 2015,

          Recalling the dispatch of the United Nations special mission to the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2006 at the request of the territorial Government and with the concurrence of the administering Power,

          Noting the decision of the administering Power to suspend parts of the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution Order 2006, the subsequent presentation of a draft constitution for public consultation in 2011 and the introduction of a new constitution for the Territory, as well as the election of a new territorial Government in 2012,

          Noting also that the administering Power, after careful consideration, did not accept the recommendations of the 2014 report of the Constitutional Review Committee, which was submitted to and considered by the House of Assembly, on the grounds that the Constitution Order 2011 was key to ensuring that the Turks and Caicos Islands continued to meet internationally recognized standards of good governance, the rule of law and sound financial management,

          Recalling that, in March 2014, the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community received an update on the situation in the Turks and Caicos Islands, which they will continue to monitor, and that they expressed their support for the full restoration of democracy in the Territory on terms driven by its people,

          Noting the 2009 suspension of the Constitution Order 2006, which abolished the democratically elected House of Assembly and the Cabinet, and the subsequent institution of direct rule exercised by the administering Power for a period of three years, and taking note of the provision of a new Constitution Order in 2012, as well as the election held in the Territory in 2012, and of the endorsement by the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community of the report of the Community’s fact-finding mission to the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2013, which called for, inter alia, a referendum on self-determination and a mechanism for amending the constitution,


          1.       Reaffirms the inalienable right of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands to self-determination, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV), containing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples;

          2.       Also reaffirms that, in the process of decolonization of the Turks and Caicos Islands, there is no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which is also a fundamental human right, as recognized under the relevant human rights conventions;

          3.       Further reaffirms that it is ultimately for the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands to determine freely their future political status in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter, the Declaration and the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, and in that connection calls upon the administering Power, in cooperation with the territorial Government and appropriate bodies of the United Nations system, to develop political education programmes for the Territory in order to foster an awareness among the people of their right to self-determination in conformity with the legitimate political status options, based on the principles clearly defined in Assembly resolution 1541 (XV) and other relevant resolutions and decisions;

          4.       Reiterates its support for the full restoration of democracy in the Territory and for the work of the Constitutional Review Committee in that regard, and notes the efforts of the administering Power to restore good governance, including through the introduction in 2011 of a new constitution and the holding of elections in November 2012, and sound financial management in the Territory;

          5.       Takes note of the positions and repeated calls of the Caribbean Community and the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries in support of a democratically elected territorial Government and of the full restoration of democracy in the Territory as decided by its people;

          6.       Notes the continuing debate on constitutional reform within the Territory, and stresses the importance of participation by all groups and interested parties in the consultation process;

          7.       Stresses the importance of having in place in the Territory a constitution that reflects the aspirations and wishes of its people, based on the mechanisms for popular consultation;

          8.       Requests the administering Power to assist the Territory by facilitating its work concerning public outreach efforts, consistent with Article 73 b of the Charter, and in that regard calls upon the relevant United Nations organizations to provide assistance to the Territory, if requested;

          9.       Welcomes the active participation of the Territory in the work of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean;

          10.     Also welcomes the continuing efforts made by the territorial Government addressing the need for attention to be paid to the enhancement of socioeconomic development across the Territory;

          11.     Stresses the importance of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples being apprised of the views and wishes of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands and enhancing its understanding of their conditions, including the nature and scope of the existing political and constitutional arrangements between the Turks and Caicos Islands and the administering Power;

          12.     Calls upon the administering Power to participate in and cooperate fully with the work of the Special Committee in order to implement the provisions of Article 73 e of the Charter and the Declaration and in order to advise the Committee on the implementation of the provisions under Article 73 b of the Charter on efforts to promote self-government in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and encourages the administering Power to facilitate visiting and special missions to the Territory;  

          13.     Reaffirms the responsibility of the administering Power under the Charter to promote the economic and social development and to preserve the cultural identity of the Territory, and requests the administering Power to take steps to enlist and make effective use of all possible assistance, on both a bilateral and a multilateral basis, in the strengthening of the economies of the Territory;

          14.     Takes into account the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals,[7] stresses the importance of fostering the economic and social sustainable development of the Territory by promoting sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, raising basic standards of living, fostering equitable social development and inclusion and promoting the integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems that supports, inter alia, economic, social and human development, while facilitating ecosystem conservation, regeneration, restoration and resilience in the face of new and emerging challenges, and strongly urges the administering Power to refrain from undertaking any kind of illicit, harmful and unproductive activities, including the use of the Territory as a tax haven, that are not aligned with the interest of the people of the Territory;

          15.     Requests the Territory and the administering Power to take all measures necessary to protect and conserve the environment of the Territory against any degradation, and once again requests the specialized agencies concerned to monitor environmental conditions in the Territory and to provide assistance to the Territory, consistent with their prevailing rules of procedure;

          16.     Requests the Special Committee to continue to examine the question of the Turks and Caicos Islands and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its seventy-second session and on the implementation of the present resolution.
 



         [1] Official Records of the General Assembly, Seventy-first Session, Supplement No. 23 (A/71/23), chap. X.
         [2] A/AC.109/2016/15.
         [3] Resolution 1514 (XV).
         [4] A/56/61, annex.
         [5] Official Records of the General Assembly, Seventy-first Session, Supplement No. 23 (A/71/23).
         [6] See resolution 65/119.
         [7] Resolution 70/1.

Kanak human rights defender joins the ancestors




Susanna Ounei was a significant figure in Kanak independence movement. She also played a significant role in the Mori sovereignty movement in New Zealand in the 1980s as an inspiring speaker at many hui. A passionate and committed activist she is mourned …Tribute to Kanak independence activist Susanna Ounei

Susanna Ounei was a significant figure in Kanak independence movement. She also played a significant role in the Māori sovereignty movement in New Zealand in the 1980s as an inspiring speaker at many hui. A passionate and committed activist she is mourned by family, friends and those who met her in passing.

Susanna Ounei first came to New Zealand in early 1984 to learn English, after losing her job in Noumea because of her involvement in the Kanak independence movement. She was sponsored by CORSO and the YWCA and later involved in projects with them. In 1986 she married New Zealander David Small who became a Canterbury University academic in after completing a PhD in Education in 1994 on the politics of colonial education in New Caledonia. In 1997 their marriage broke down and Susanna remained on the island of Ouvea in New Caledonia until returning to Wellington with her two adoptive children in 2000.

“Born in 1945, Susanna Ounei got involved as a young woman with the Red Scarves, a radical group formed in 1969, advocating for independence from France for Kanaky New Caledonia. (I remember her telling me she worked in the bank at the time, and because she had a salary she was often feeding and bailing out her comrades!) As the movement evolved from a Front Indépendiste into the FLNKS (Front de Libération National Kanak et Socialiste), she became a voice not just for independence and socialism but also for gender justice in Kanaky.

Her activism extended into the wider Pacific through her engagements with both the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP) movement and the Pacific women’s movement. She attended the UN’s Third Conference on Women in Nairobi in 1985 where she met one of her inspirations, Angela Y. Davis for the first time. (They would next meet 22 years later in Wellington, New Zealand, when Davis–who was one of my PhD advisors–was on a speaking tour).

The 1980s in Kanaky New Caledonia saw a number of traumatizing events, including the massacre by French settlers of 10 Kanaks at Hienghène and the murder of independence leader Eloi Machoro by police in 1984, the massacre by gendarmerie of 19 Kanaks on Ouvea in 1988, and the assassinations of independence leaders Jean Marie Tjibaou and Yiewene Yiewene by fellow nationalist, Djubelly Wea, who was also killed in the fracas. The 1980s were also when Susanna had a period of residence in Aotearoa New Zealand, completing a degree in Sociology at the University of Canterbury, and writing and publishing influential pieces on Kanak independence.

In the 1990s the secretariat of the NFIP, the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre, was relocated from Auckland, New Zealand to Suva, Fiji and Susanna was appointed to its decolonization desk. This is when I first met her. During that time she was actively involved in organizing and galvanizing Pacific women for the UN Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. The period of the late 1990s also saw France invest heavily in New Caledonia in an effort to subvert the nationalist movement.

Dismayed by what she saw as the co-optation of the will to independence in her homeland, Susanna Ounei lived in voluntary exile in Wellington for the past sixteen years, raising two children as a solo parent, battling with health problems and yearning for her homeland of Kanaky/New Caledonia the whole time.

My friendship with Susanna really intensified during this period in Wellington. When she was well she attended seminars and conferences that we held at the university, and in the early days gave guest lectures to some of my Pacific Studies classes. She was the first person outside of my family to discern that I was pregnant with Vaitoa in 2002, and in 2006 she helped me find a beautiful beaded second hand top to wear for my wedding. Her official birthdate is August 15 (although she learned later in life that this may have been an error), so a couple of times we celebrated our August birthdays together, and at least one of those times was with Claire Slatter.

With her two children Jessie Ounei and Touie Jymmy Jinsokuna Burēdo Ounei now grown and raising families of their own, she often talked about moving back to Kanaky to lend a hand to the struggle…especially as more and more of her former comrades began to pass away.

While in Wellington, Susanna never failed to join her voice to movements for justice–from tino rangatiratanga/Māori sovereignty, to anti-corporate globalization, a Free West Papua and a Free Palestine. You could be sure to see her in public demonstrations of solidarity with anyone under attack from the state, like the 18 activists and their communities targeted in the 2007 New Zealand Terror Raids and the Waihopai Spy Base protesters of 2008.

Susanna was an awe-inspiring figure whose kindness and generosity I was privileged to receive and whose fury I have also survived. She was a true Warrior Woman.”


21 August 2016

U.N. Committee reaffirms Anguilla right to self-determination


 Resolution 

adopted by the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation

Question of Anguilla
        


          The General Assembly,

          Having considered the question of Anguilla,

          Having examined the relevant chapter of the report of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples for 2016, related to Anguilla,[1]

          Taking note of the working paper prepared by the Secretariat on Anguilla[2] and other relevant information,

          Recognizing that all available options for self-determination of the Territory are valid as long as they are in accordance with the freely expressed wishes of the people of Anguilla and in conformity with the clearly defined principles contained in General Assembly resolutions 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, 1541 (XV) of 15 December 1960 and other resolutions of the Assembly,

          Expressing concern that 56 years after the adoption of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples,[3] there still remain 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories, including Anguilla,

          Conscious of the importance of continuing the effective implementation of the Declaration, taking into account the target set by the United Nations to eradicate colonialism by 2020 and the plans of action for the Second[4] and Third International Decades for the Eradication of Colonialism,

          Recognizing that the specific characteristics and the aspirations of the people of Anguilla require flexible, practical and innovative approaches to the options for self-determination, without any prejudice to territorial size, geographical location, size of population or natural resources,

          Convinced that the wishes and aspirations of the people of the Territory should continue to guide the development of their future political status and that referendums, free and fair elections and other forms of popular consultation play an important role in ascertaining the wishes and aspirations of the people,

          Concerned by the use and exploitation of the natural resources of the Non-Self-Governing Territories by the administering Powers for their benefit, by the use of the Territories as tax havens to the detriment of the world economy and by the consequences of any economic activities of the administering Powers that are contrary to the interests of the people of the Territories, as well as to resolution 1514 (XV),

          Convinced that any negotiations to determine the status of the Territory must take place with the active involvement and participation of the people of the Territory, under the auspices of the United Nations, on a case-by-case basis, and that the views of the people of Anguilla in respect of their right to self-determination should be ascertained,

          Noting the continued cooperation of the Non-Self-Governing Territories at the local and regional levels, including participation in the work of regional organizations,

          Mindful that, in order for the Special Committee to enhance its understanding of the political status of the people of Anguilla and to fulfil its mandate effectively, it is important for it to be apprised by the administering Power and to receive information from other appropriate sources, including the representatives of the Territory, concerning the wishes and aspirations of the people of the Territory,

          Aware of the importance both to Anguilla and to the Special Committee of the participation of elected and appointed representatives of Anguilla in the work of the Committee,

          Recognizing the need for the Special Committee to ensure that the appropriate bodies of the United Nations actively pursue a public awareness campaign aimed at assisting the people of Anguilla with their inalienable right to self-determination and in gaining a better understanding of the options for self-determination, on a case-by-case basis,

          Mindful, in that connection, that the holding of regional seminars in the Caribbean and Pacific regions and at Headquarters, with the active participation of representatives of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, provides a helpful means for the Special Committee to fulfil its mandate and that the regional nature of the seminars, which alternate between the Caribbean and the Pacific, is a crucial element in the context of a United Nations programme for ascertaining the political status of the Territories,

          Welcoming the Pacific regional seminar held by the Special Committee in Managua and hosted by the Government of Nicaragua from 31 May to 2 June 2016 as a significant and forward-looking event, which enabled the participants to assess the progress made in the decolonization process and to review the existing working methods of the Committee and renew its momentum in implementing its historic task,

          Recognizing the importance of the conclusions and recommendations adopted by the seminar, which are annexed to the report of the Special Committee[5] and which outline the findings of the seminar, including, especially, the way forward for the decolonization process within the context of the proclamation by the General Assembly of the period 2011-2020 as the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism,[6]

          Noting with appreciation the contribution to the development of some Territories by the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, in particular the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Food Programme, as well as regional institutions such as the Caribbean Development Bank, the Caribbean Community, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, the Pacific Islands Forum and the agencies of the Council of Regional Organizations in the Pacific,

          Recalling the holding of the 2003 Caribbean regional seminar in Anguilla, hosted by the territorial Government and made possible by the administering Power, the first time that the seminar had been held in a Non-Self-Governing Territory,

          Recalling also the statement made by the representative of Anguilla at the Pacific regional seminar held in Quito from 30 May to 1 June 2012 that the people of the Territory were concerned that they were being denied the full range of decolonization options under a drafting exercise that began in 2011,

          Aware of the follow-up meeting, held after the 2012 Pacific regional seminar, between the Chair of the Special Committee and the Chief Minister of Anguilla, who reiterated the urgent need for a visiting mission,

          Noting the internal constitutional review process resumed by the territorial Government in 2006, the work of the Constitutional and Electoral Reform Commission, which prepared its report in August 2006, the holding of public and other consultative meetings in 2007 on proposed constitutional amendments to be presented to the administering Power, the decisions taken in 2008 and 2011 to set up a drafting team to prepare a new constitution and present it for public consultation in the Territory and the recent efforts undertaken in that regard, including the establishment, in September 2015, of a new Constitutional and Electoral Reform Committee to advance constitutional and electoral reform,

          Noting also the participation of the Territory as a member in the Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories Council and an associate member in the Caribbean Community, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean,

          Recalling the general elections which took place in April 2015,

          1.       Reaffirms the inalienable right of the people of Anguilla to self-determination, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV), containing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples;

          2.       Also reaffirms that, in the process of decolonization of Anguilla, there is no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which is also a fundamental human right, as recognized under the relevant human rights conventions;

          3.       Further reaffirms that it is ultimately for the people of Anguilla to determine freely their future political status in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter, the Declaration and the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, and in that connection calls upon the administering Power, in cooperation with the territorial Government and appropriate bodies of the United Nations system, to develop political education programmes for the Territory in order to foster an awareness among the people of their right to self-determination in conformity with the legitimate political status options, based on the principles clearly defined in Assembly resolution 1541 (XV) and other relevant resolutions and decisions;

          4.       Welcomes the preparations made for a new constitution, and urges that constitutional discussions with the administering Power, including public consultations, be concluded as soon as possible;

          5.       Requests the administering Power to assist the Territory in its current efforts with regard to advancing the internal constitutional review exercise, if requested;

          6.       Stresses the importance of the previously expressed desire of the territorial Government for a visiting mission by the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, calls upon the administering Power to facilitate such a mission, if the territorial Government so desires, and requests the Chair of the Special Committee to take all the necessary steps to that end;

          7.       Requests the administering Power to assist the Territory by facilitating its work concerning public consultative outreach efforts consistent with Article 73 b of the Charter, and in that regard calls upon the relevant United Nations organizations to provide assistance to the Territory, if requested;

          8.       Calls upon the administering Power to assist the territorial Government in strengthening its commitments in the economic domain, including budgetary matters, with regional support as needed and appropriate;

          9.       Welcomes the active participation of the Territory in the work of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean;

          10.     Stresses the importance of the Special Committee being apprised of the views and wishes of the people of Anguilla and enhancing its understanding of their conditions, including the nature and scope of the existing political and constitutional arrangements between Anguilla and the administering Power;

          11.     Calls upon the administering Power to participate in and cooperate fully with the work of the Special Committee in order to implement the provisions of Article 73 e of the Charter and the Declaration and in order to advise the Committee on the implementation of the provisions under Article 73 b of the Charter on efforts to promote self-government in Anguilla, and encourages the administering Power to facilitate visiting and special missions to the Territory;

          12.     Reaffirms the responsibility of the administering Power under the Charter to promote the economic and social development and to preserve the cultural identity of the Territory, and requests the administering Power to take steps to enlist and make effective use of all possible assistance, on both a bilateral and a multilateral basis, in the strengthening of the economies of the Territory;

          13.     Takes into account the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals,[7] stresses the importance of fostering the economic and social sustainable development of the Territory by promoting sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, raising basic standards of living, fostering equitable social development and inclusion and promoting the integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems that supports, inter alia, economic, social and human development, while facilitating ecosystem conservation, regeneration, restoration and resilience in the face of new and emerging challenges, and strongly urges the administering Power to refrain from undertaking any kind of illicit, harmful and unproductive activities, including the use of the Territory as a tax haven, that are not aligned with the interest of the people of the Territory;

          14.     Requests the Territory and the administering Power to take all measures necessary to protect and conserve the environment of the Territory against any degradation, and once again requests the specialized agencies concerned to monitor environmental conditions in the Territory and to provide assistance to the Territory, consistent with their prevailing rules of procedure;

          15.     Requests the Special Committee to continue to examine the question of Anguilla and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its seventy-second session and on the implementation of the present resolution.





         [1] Official Records of the General Assembly, Seventy-first Session, Supplement No. 23 (A/71/23), chap. X.
         [2] A/AC.109/2016/2.
         [3] Resolution 1514 (XV).
         [4] A/56/61, annex.
         [5] Official Records of the General Assembly, Seventy-first Session, Supplement No. 23 (A/71/23).
         [6] See resolution 65/119.
         [7] Resolution 70/1.

17 August 2016

Self-determination association forms with an eye on Ryukyu independence

en.wikipedia.org



On July 24, the newly-formed “Nuchi du takara (life is a treasure)! Ryukyu self-determination association (preparatory association)” held an event to celebrate its formation at the Central Community Center in Nishihara Town. Approximately 150 people attended the event. The association aims to be a “civil society-style political organization” and plans to utilize the United Nations and international law to work toward realizing self-determination, with an eye on the possibility of eventually achieving Ryukyuan independence. The association plans to develop into an official political association once it attains a certain number of supporters.

The association upholds five tenets, including “embodying the history of Ryuku/Okinawa up until the present, and, with strength, opening up the future through the exercise of Ryuku/Okinawan self-determination with a readiness to aim for independence,” and “bidding farewell to the colonialism of Ryukyu/Okinawa by Japan and the United States, which continues today in the form of the Henoko new base construction issue.” Members are required to have roots in the Ryukyu arc.

As its basic policy, the association upholds the goals of “working together with the United Nations, international society, and East Asia and expanding self-determination” and “seeing resolutions supporting the realization of self-determination passed by all of [Okinawa’s] city, town, and village assemblies, and by the Prefectural Assembly.” It plans to work on a variety of pressing issues, including working to achieve the immediate closure of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, opposing the forcible construction of a new base in Henoko and of Osprey pads in Takae, and opposing increased Japan Self-Defense Force deployment on Okinawa and further militarization of Okinawa, in addition to working to promote economic development, cultural promotion, language education, and an improved working environment.

One sponsor of the association, Nishihara Town councilmember Yoshio Yonamine, said, “Ultimately, we hope to become a group capable of conducting a prefectural referendum on the issue of realizing self-determination.”


(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)