Demilitarizing the Pacific: Ryukyu (Okinawa), Guam / Northern Mariana, Hawaii. For generations the Indigenous peoples of the island nations have been under U.S. military occupation, which is harming our environment and putting us in danger. Now, Native Ryukyuans (Okinawans / Uchinanchu), Chamorro, and Hawaiians have come together to assist each other in our shared goals of demilitarization and self-determination.
This is a side event for the United Nations Human Rights Council 46th Session, 22 February - 23 March 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland. This event is under the auspices of Incomindios, a Non-Governmental Organization in consultative status with the Economic and Security Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. It is also co-sponsored by the Koani Foundation and the Peace For Okinawa Coalition. Additional thanks to Our Common Wealth 670 and the Ryukyu Independence Action Network for their assistance.
Robert Kajiwara, Professor Hoshin Nakamura, Representative Sheila Babauta, H.E. Leon Siu, and Routh Bolomet.
Robert Kajiwara is Native Ryukyuan (Okinawan / Uchinanchu), and founder and president of the Peace For Okinawa Coalition, a non-profit organization with offices in Okinawa and Hawaii dedicated to promoting Ryukyuan culture, history, languages, and issues. His petition to stop the construction of the military base at Henoko, Okinawa has over 212,000 signatures on it. He has spoken several times at the UN Human Rights Council since 2019. Ph.D. A.B.D., History, Manchester Metropolitan University; M.A., History, University of Nebraska at Kearney; B.A., History, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Hoshin Nakamura is professor emeritus of Okinawa University. He is Native Ryukyuan, and survived the Battle of Okinawa in 1945 in which at least one out of every four Okinawans were killed. Professor Nakamura has degrees in Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Seton Hall University. He taught history at Okinawa University for over 20 years, and has also taught at University of Maryland and University of the Ryukyus. Professor Nakamura has been involved in the Ryukyu independence movement for over five decades. He last spoke at the UN human rights council in 2019.
Sheila Babauta is Chamorro, the Native people of the Mariana Islands. She is serving as a member of the House of Representatives in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Her longstanding commitment to service is evident through her involvement in organizations such as the Marianas Young Professionals, Talaabwogh StaRs, PRIDE Marianas Youth, Our Common Wealth 670, and Friends of the Marianas Trench. Leadership development remains a priority for her as a current member of the first cohort for Obama Leaders Program: Asia Pacific and recent alum of the sixth cohort for Pacific Century Fellows Program-Marianas Chapter.
H.E. Leon Kaulahao Siu is Native Hawaiian, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hawaiian Kingdom. prominent strategist, advocate and spokesman forHawaii’s independence. Minister Siu is a familiar participant in Geneva at the Human Rights Council and is working to restore or develop new relations between the Hawaiian Kingdom and other states. He is the chair of the Decolonization Alliance based in New York City, a co-author of the book, Modus Vivendi Situation of West Papua and was nominated for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.
Routh Bolomet, a descendant of the royal line of Kamehameha, the original rulers of the Hawaiian Kingdom. As such, she is an heir to the privately-held lands of the Kamehamehas and advocating for the repatriation of lands that were taken and sold illegally under the regimes of the (US) Territory of Hawaii and the present (US) State of Hawaii.