45 years ago, a group of 14 beautiful islands in the Western Pacific successfully negotiated on equal terms with the most powerful country in the world in an act of self-determination.
Today, we celebrate the creation of our Commonwealth in political union with the United States and the progress we have made as a young democracy. We remember the pivotal negotiations over the course of 27 months from December 1972 to February 1975 by the Marianas Political Status Commission. We reflect on this important part of our history as a people and move forward in our journey of creating a better future for the next generations.
We also look back at our most recent 902 consultations in 2016 and 2019 that have successfully achieved federal policies that have helped us develop our local workforce, protect our long-term guest workers and their families, allow for the rebuilding of homes and infrastructure, develop our economy, and fund the earned income tax credit. Through constructive conversations, we used the platform provided by the Covenant to work in the best interest of every single person who calls these islands home.
The Covenant is a sacred agreement, an honorable accord, and the foundation of our government, and we will continue to use it as a guide in our work of overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, rebuilding our economy, continuing our recovery, providing public safety in our villages, achieving our healthcare goals, expanding educational opportunities for our students, and ensuring economic prosperity for our Commonwealth.
From our families to yours, may all of you have a safe and restful Covenant Day. Stay safe and remember to be vigilant by washing your hands, wearing your masks, and watching your distance in public places. By working together, these 14 beautiful islands will continue to be the safest place in the United States from COVID-19.