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1974 proceedings of a seminar on political status, University of Guam

In February 1974, the Pacific Asian Studies Association (PASA) at the University of Guam (UOG) held a two-day seminar to discuss political status negotiations that had been ongoing in Micronesia for the past five years.

The seminar focused on the fact that although the people of Guam had not participated in the these political status negotiations for Micronesia, Guam would be affected by the results. Guam’s current and future political status were also discussed at the PASA seminar.

The seminar was sponsored by UOG President Antonio C. Yamashita and supported by the Pacific Asian Studies Association. Guam Governor Carlos G. Camacho and the members of the Political Status Committee of the 12th Guam Legislature encouraged the creation of the seminar.

The proceedings were edited by UOG Professor Benjamin F. Bast, and a book was produced from the seminar, entitled, The Political Future of Guam and Micronesia. This was the first book of the newly founded University of Guam Press, marking an important step in the development of the University of Guam as a center of learning for Guam and the Western Pacific.

Participants included Guam Senators Paul Bordallo, Frank Lujan, Adrian Sanchez and Francisco Santos, and Congress of Micronesia Senators Edward Pangelinan and Roman Tmetuchl. Former Governor of Guam Carlton Skinner and former High Commissioner of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) William Norwood also participated. Dr. William Vitarelli, who had worked extensively in the TTPI, moderated the seminar along with UOG professor Frank King. Several other University of Guam professors attended, as did Mary Trent from the US State Department; Greg Perez and John Gilliam represented the Government of Guam; Joe Murphy from the Pacific Daily News and Legislative researchers Audrey Camba and Dr. Tom Gladwin were also present.  Many University of Guam students from throughout the region also participated in the seminar.

Besides the proceedings of the seminar the book contains a chronology of events relating to Guam and Micronesia from 1947 when the six districts of Micronesia, as the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, were placed under the International Trusteeship System with the US as the Administering Authority, up until January 1974. By then, a report in the Pacific Daily News indicated that a sizable number of people on Rota did not support the separate Mariana District negotiations. Also included is a Joint Communiqué from 4 June 1973 regarding a new political union between the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States of America, and a selected bibliography relating to Guam and Micronesia.

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