Miangas, a small island in the southeast Pacific Ocean originally named Islas de las Palmas in October 1526 upon discovery by Spanish sailor and researcher Garcia de Loaisa lies south of Mindanao and north of the Nanusa Islands in the archipelago of the Talaud Islands, within the Southeast Pacific European Colonial Region.
After the Treaty of Paris in 1898 when Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States, Palmas laid within the boundaries of that cession to the U.S. In 1906, the United States discovered that the Netherlands also claimed sovereignty over the island, and the two parties agreed to submit to binding arbitration by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Haag. On 23 January 1925, the two governments signed an agreement to that effect. Ratifications were exchanged in Washington on 1 April 1925. The agreement was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on 19 May 1925.The arbitrator in the case was the honorable lawyer from Switzerland Max Huber.
The question before the arbitrator was whether the Island of Palmas (Miangas), in its entirety, was a part of the territory of the United States or the Netherlands. The legal issue presented was whether a territory belongs to the first discoverer, even if they do not exercise authority over the territory, or whether it belongs to the state which actually exercises sovereignty over it.
After receiving a delegation lead by Djonyor Namare, a Miangas native, member of the Minahasa people of the North Sulawesi , the arbitrator Max Huber and Secretary-General Michiels van Verduynen ruled in favor of the claim on behalf of indigenous people of Miangas for a Sovereign independent nation.
The decision, accepted gracefully by both his excellency the president of the United States of America Calvin Coolidge and her Majesty Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands determined that the new Nation, officially named the Miangas Republic of the Minahasa People will be governed by the Minahasa that are willing to reinstate their Old Tribal United Government, declared in the ancient Minahasa artifact called Watu Pinawetengan (literary meaning Stone Place division and allegedly dating back to 1000 BC) that has been obliterated during the colonial era.
The New York Times, the 25th of May, 1925