This blog is about Hawaii's status as an independent country under prolonged illegal occupation by the United States, and the history, culture, law & politics of the islands.

By Scott Crawford, Hana, Maui

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Pakistan raises question about status of Hawaii during U.S. Universal Periodic Review at UN Human Rights Council

During the United States’ Universal Periodic Review before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, on May 11 a question was raised by Pakistani representatives regarding the status of Hawaii and Alaska, suggesting that Alaska and Hawaii are situations that come under international law, not US domestic law.
Below is an update from Leon Siu giving all the background and implications of this event, along with a press release from The Alaska-Hawaii Alliance for Self-Determination.
And here’s an article (in Spanish) from RT Sepa Más based on the press release, and here’s the English translation (via Google Translate).
(Also, I want to mirror what Leon says at the end about the late Kaiopua Fyfe, who passed earlier this month. Kekula worked with Kaiopua in the international realm 20 years ago. He was a genuinely warm and kind man. I was very touched that he and Sabra came to Kipahulu for Kekula’s funeral services in 2013. I send my deep aloha out to Kaiopua and Sabra and their families.)
Ke Aupuni Update

May 19, 2015

Keeping in touch and updated on activities regarding the restoration of Ke Aupuni o Hawaii, the Hawaiian Kingdom. Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono.

———
 
A Breakthrough at the UN in Geneva
Aloha kakou. 
 
Sorry I have been out of communication for so long. I was in New York for 2 weeks, then in Washington DC for 2 days, then in Geneva for 12 days. I’ll report about the exciting developments in NY and DC at another time, but for now…
I just returned home from Geneva having attended the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of the United States. I was there on behalf of the Koani Foundation and Ke Aupuni o Hawaii working in partnership with Alaskan Ambassador Ronald Barnes.
On Monday, May 11, we got the break we have been working for years to achieve! It has caused a big stir in Geneva and in the international community, but is being downplayed or ignored in the US…which also means it is being downplayed in Hawaii.
Attached is a joint Alaska-Hawaii press statement released a few days ago that explains the significance of this development. But first, let me preface it with some background.

What are we doing at the UN?
The Hawaiian Kingdom is not at the UN to get “recognition.” We are not there to try to “join” the UN. We are not there to ask to be “decolonized.” We are not there to invoke “indigenous” rights.
We are there to call on the member states of the UN to compel its fellow member, the United States of America, to comply with international law by ending its prolonged, illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Islands.
The US lied to the UN.
In 1959, the United States misled the United Nations General Assembly into thinking that Alaska and Hawaii had voted to become fully integrated into the United States as “federal domestic states.” It was a false report, but the General Assembly accepted it and from that point on, considered Alaska and Hawaii to be under the domestic laws of the United States, not as peoples and territories under the international law of nations.
This false depiction of our status has been so engrained globally that people find it hard to believe Hawaii is not a part of the US. This has practically blocked our ability to engage other countries and international bodies like the UN, to support our efforts to free Hawaii.
Our task at the UN.
If we want to engage the United Nations to help free Hawaii, we have to change the engrained perception—getting the UN to see Hawaii as a sovereign nation-state in captivity rather than a minority population of “federally recognized” “Native-Hawaiian-Americans” within the fake federal “State of Hawaii” and all completely subjected under US laws.
The key to changing the perception is persistence and consistency. Being present and constantly using every opportunity to speak, file and refile petitions, complaints and interventions to make our point; tell our story to anyone who will listen and even those who may not want to listen…and being pleasant and diplomatic…eventually it gets through.
We have approached and engaged many different mechanisms at the UN that might be able to help. In particular, we have concentrated on several human rights bodies based in Geneva as well as a couple of General Assembly committees in New York.
The breakthrough we recently had was in the Human Rights Council.
The Universal Periodic Review
Every few years, on a rotational basis, each member State (country) of the United Nations has its human rights “record” reviewed by the United Nations Human Rights Council based in Geneva. This process is called the Universal Periodic Review. Last week it was the United States’ turn. The way it works, is that months before the review, the country submits its report of how they are doing internally on a wide range of human rights topics, self-analyzing their strengths and weaknesses. The other member states (countries) examine the report and formulate their questions and/or recommendations to make to the US.
On May 11, 2015 a formal meeting was convened in the main salon at the Palais des Nations, the UN headquarters in Geneva. There, the delegation from the US made its oral presentation for about an hour, then the member states that signed up to speak have an opportunity to give their observations, questions and recommendations through what is called “interventions.” Only member states can participate in making written and oral interventions at a UPR. There were over 120 States signed up to give oral interventions. They were only given 1 minute each, so it took well over two hours to get through all the speakers.
Most of the interventions have a few seconds of platitudes (congratulating the US, etc.) then they list a number of concerns. As you can guess, a lot of them have concerns.
At the Universal Periodic Review of the United States, only member countries of the UN (called “member States”) can make remarks or ask questions. Outsiders like us who are not member States, have to find a member State to ask a question for us. That’s how it works.
Representatives from the people of Alaska and Hawaii teamed up about 10 years ago to assert our independence. One of the key elements of the partnership is to have the UN question the US claim that Alaska and Hawaii are “federal states” of the US.
While there are many UN member States sympathetic to our pursuit, for ten years, none has been willing to stick its neck out to mention the irregularities regarding Alaska and Hawaii. It was safer to not disturb the dragon.
But we persisted in attending dozens of meetings at the UN in Geneva and New York to press our case. Over the years, things have shifted in our favor.
On Monday, May 11, 2015, at the US UPR, Pakistan broke the ice by posing a request to the US pertaining to us. There! A member State of the UN actually said it!… indirectly but clearly…suggesting that Alaska and Hawaii are situations that come under international law, not US domestic law…and more specifically, our cases require the attention of the UN Decolonization Committee.
In the subdued, understated, circumspect, innuendoed world of diplomacy, Pakistan’s query was like the fable where the boy blurts out, “But the emperor has no clothes!” Everyone could see it, but no one wanted to say it.
We’ve been speaking to states and the press for years, and in the days leading up to the US UPR there was a heightened sense of anticipation that someone would say something. Now, since Pakistan popped the question, we have “turned the corner.” We were immediately inundated by the international press. I had to extend my stay in Geneva for three days to accommodate the demand. And I will still have to take calls from home, from those who we couldn’t meet with while there.
OK… With this somewhat lengthy preface, please read the attached press statement.
Aloha oe, mahalo piha Kaiopua Fyfe
I want to add that this would not have happened without the sacrificial work of many people going back 40 years. One outstanding, yet unsung hero is Kaiopua Fyfe who laid so much of the groundwork for us with his experience, knowledge, wisdom, dedication and spiritual guidance…and generosity. Kaiopua passed away at his home on Kauai one week before the UPR session convened in Geneva. Auwe! Auwe! We were sad that he was not there in person to witness the breakthrough for which he had been the primary engineer, but we know he was there in spirit.
Our heartfelt aloha and mahalo piha goes out to his wahine Sabra and the ohana. We also extend aloha to the Koani Foundation which he so aptly served as a director.
A hui hou,
Malama pono,
Leon

9 comments to Pakistan raises question about status of Hawaii during U.S. Universal Periodic Review at UN Human Rights Council

  • Leon’s words brought tears to my eyes. The tears ran down my face. While the Alaska situation is new to me, I’m well aware of Hawaii’s case.
    Deepest appreciation to Leon and the others who are tenacious in their courtesy and patience.

  • Is this a blessing, or is it a blessing…oh, THANK YOU and the powers that be, and to Mr. FYFE! This is a major turning point for Hawai’i , to finally be recognized. Thankyou, Pakistan! Blessings to ALL involved! I can now sleep comfortably knowing things will start to brighten up in Hawai’is future. Aloha, Mahalo!

  • Marilyn

    As I read that Pakistan questions the status of Hawaii, a thought/question has entered my mind. What happens if Hawaii is successful in establishing itself as a sovereign nation? Does that make us vulnerable as prey to other countries? If we break away from the United States, would they defend us should another country attempt a takeover?

  • the question of a bigger fish swallowing a smaller one is a good one. but i think that we have laid careful groundwork in the legal field to prevent that. plus we have the internet to help us communicate these days.

    and this big one. many con tries have existing treaties with the hawaiian kingdom which they must follow.

  • 4myohana

    Mahalo k Akua 4this blessings…LLHK

  • 4myohana

    Hawaiian Kingdom lives here…
    We have the land Titles…
    Currently being occupied by a foreign country…
    Please KOKUA

  • riki

    Welcome to the Aloha Revolution ,
    Revenge is not our cause ,
    Restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom is.
    We no carry guns,
    we no make bombs,
    we no mo weapons of mass destruction.
    Our weapons of choice , Computers and massive
    amounts of Aloha& Creation .
    We are rooted in ancient spiritual beliefs
    of ALOHA AINA.
    Long Live the people of the Hawaiian Islands.
    Welcome to the ALOHA REVOLUTION

  • sohaib

    Pakistan will continue to speak for human rights and humanity.Because a disputed part of pakistan is being occupied by india and atrocities on innocent population has become a norm there.Also pakistan has not accepted the occupant force of israel in Palestine and their atrocities on unarmed palestinian population

  • Noelani

    So happy to have FINALLY found this article after these many years!! Beautiful!

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