Spirit of Unity and Collective Prosperity
by Judi Won Pat
Speaker of the 31st Guam Legislature

Hafa Adai!  As we begin planning for the next family festivity, scheduled trip to the mall, or to our place of worship, let us be reminded that, as much as we desire for a prosperous economy, we should also work towards a long lasting prosperity of respect and kindness for one another.

I am encouraged by the flurry of activity at many of the shopping destinations, both large and small.

I am also encouraged by the progress we have made as a government towards expanding existing markets and exploring new ones.

Now, it is my privilege to share that as much as our local leaders have made progress in strengthening the Guam economy, our brothers and sisters who are part of this Pacific Blue Continent have taken major strides at the last Association of Pacific Island Legislatures to advance our collective and common agenda for mutual sustained prosperity and political stability for all Pacific Peoples.

A "Blue Continent Free Trade Agreement² resolution was introduced by the Guam delegation made up of Senator Rory Respicio, Senator Chris Duenas, and myself as the principal author.  The resolution sets into motion the establishment of a working committee to assist in the establishment of policy that may be adopted by all member nation and territorial governments that seeks to:

1.     Eliminate barriers or and facilitates trade within and between member APIL countries and territories;

2.     Create new employment opportunities, improve working and living conditions in our respective APIL member nations and territories as a result of the Blue Continent Free Trade Agreement; as well as

3.     Ensure that resulting commercial activities are consistent with the protection and conservation of our environment.

The passage of this resolution was good. But the greatest lesson was the realization that although each of our respective governments, much like ourselves as individuals, may be deploying very different means designed to get us Œahead¹ economically, it is possible to do so in the spirit of inafamolek, in the spirit of having respect and the better interest of all concerned foremost in mind.

My dear people of Guam, as we rush towards the next family festivity, scheduled shopping trip, or to our place of worshipŠ or whether we are on our way towards expanding business on Guam let us do so with the mission of establishing not just longstanding economic prosperity but a prosperity of respect and kindness for one another.

Merry Christmas and be safe during the holidays.