Indonesia To Island Leaders: Don’t Interfere In Internal Affairs

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Representative to Forum: Meeting is not venue to discuss West Papua

By Gorethy Kenneth

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Sept. 10, 2015) – Indonesia has cautioned Pacific Island leaders meeting in Port Moresby not to interfere in its internal affairs.

Making direct reference to West Papua, Indonesia’s vice-minister for Foreign Affairs AM Fachir said yesterday that the 46th Pacific Islands Forum was not the venue to broach this sensitive subject.

Mr Fachir, who is representing Indonesia as one of the PIF Dialogue Partners, called a news conference to present Jakarta’s position on the Papua provinces and alleged breaches of human rights.

He said his country’s National Commission for Human Rights was effectively addressing the alleged human rights abuses but also reminded island leaders that it was international protocol not to be seen to be meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. Forum Leaders who started meeting yesterday have five main issues on their agenda, one of them is West Papua’s push for independence and alleged human rights abuses by the military and the police.

Mr Fachir said the West Papua question was irrelevant to the main objective of the PIF which should be about economic development.

"There’s the issue of climate change, maritime, fisheries connectivity …," he said.

Mr Fachir was informed by journalists that Forum Leaders will pass a resolution on West Papua today and asked if he would be relaying the resolution to Jakarta.

"Well, if it is, the proposal is, it is up to the Leaders and we will of course, being a development partner of PIF I think we should focus ourselves in the main objective, representing PIF," he said.

Mr Fachir reiterated that Indonesia has expressed reservations about West Papua being on the PIF agenda.

"As for the Resolutions on West Papua and whether we will pass it on to the Government of Indonesia, this is something that we have to discuss. "As I said we address all issues that is why we have the National Commission for Human Rights in Indonesia.

"The issue of irrelevance we have also raised that in the bilateral meetings and yes it’s come to us that it is in the agenda but then again, as mentioned by all leaders even the Secretary General of the PIF," he said.

"In our case, all issues in Indonesia are addressed properly by our national mechanism," A.M Fachir said.

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