Indonesia Supporting Fiji UN Meeting Called ‘Cheque-Book Diplomacy’

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Jakarta allegedly wants to silence MSG support for West Papua

By Winston Tarere

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 2, 2014) – Indonesia has contributed a substantial amount of around Vt3 million ($30,000 USD) specifically to help Fiji host the United Nation’s regional conference of the Special Decolonization Committee, also known as the Committee of 24 scheduled for the 21st to the 23rd of May in Fiji.

This was posted by Fiji’s Ministry of Information on its website on Friday 25th April on ANZAC day. The three-day conference will be held at the Sofitel Hotel in Nadi.

Indonesia’s new Ambassador to Fiji, Gary RM Jusuf, made the donation to the Fiji government. At the same time the Ambassador met with Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola to discuss a number of ongoing bilateral issues such as the Melanesian Spearhead Group’s (MSG) Regional Police Academy.

Jakarta’s cheque-book diplomacy reflects its determination to silence any murmurs of regional support or discussions within the MSG on the issue of re-enlisting West Papua back on the decolonization list.

Fiji and Papua New Guinea are the only two regional members of the Committee of 24, who also enjoy close relationships with Jakarta and support Jakarta’s position on West Papua as an integral part of Indonesia.

"Earlier this year, the Indonesian Government provided close to a million dollars towards the establishment of an academy designed to boost the region’s police force. A more advanced and specialized training facility is being discussed.

"The Indonesian Police is prepared to send counter-terrorism and other experts to the MSG Regional Police Academy. Fiji is taking a lead role in establishing the academy to train police officers from the five MSG countries," the Ministry of Information website stated.

The regional seminar will discuss how to accelerate the implementation of the third international decade for the eradication of colonialism.

"The purpose of the seminar is to enable the Special Committee to obtain the views of representatives of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, experts, members of civil society and other stakeholders in the process of decolonization who can assist the Special Committee in identifying policy approaches and practical ways that can be pursued by the United Nations decolonization process," the official UN document on the guidelines and rules of procedure for the conference stated.

The seminar will assist the Special Committee to make realistic analysis and evaluation of the situation of each colonial territories on a case-by-case basis.

Only representatives of member states; host government; administering powers; non-self-governing territories; a representative of the Secretary General, representatives of concerned specialized agencies and other organizations with the UN system; representatives of the organizations based in the region and the non-self-governing territories; and experts on non-self-governing territories.

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