The United Nations, founded in 1945, was established upon the principles of equal rights, human dignity, and self-determination of all peoples. Within the half century of the United Nations existence, 750 million people have exercised their right to self-determination and more than 80 territories have gained independence.

The United Nations founding Charter states that the “interests of those inhabitants of the territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government, or Non-Self Governing Territories (NST), are paramount.” The administering powers who signed this charter accepted as “a sacred trust” the obligation to promote to the utmost the well-being of the Territories under their administration. Under Article 73 e of the Charter, the administering Powers also accepted the obligation “to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General” information relating to the “economic, social, and educational conditions of the territories.”

Resolution 1541 affirms that there are three ways in which a Non-Self Governing Territory (NST) could attain a full measure of self-government,

1) Free association with an independent country

2) Integration with an independent country on the basis of complete equality between the peoples of the territory and those of the independent country,

3) Independence

Guam remains one of the 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories that are recognized by the United Nations as being colonies in the most formal sense. The United States of America has had a moral and legal obligation to allow for the self-determination of the Chamorro people.

Guam public law states that only the Native Inhabitants of Guam are eligible to vote in a plebiscite that will decide which of these 3 status options will be submitted to the US Congress. Native Inhabitants refers to anyone “any person who became a U.S. citizen by virtue of the authority and enactment of the Organic Act of Guam or descendants of such person.”