Pacific Leaders Vow To Take Up West Papua Cause At UN

Vanuatu PM recognizes Pacific Islands Forum not going to effectively deal with issue

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 15, 2016) – Vanuatu says the Pacific Islands Forum leaders have resolved for regional countries concerned about West Papua to take it up at the United Nations.

The Vanuatu prime minister Charlot Salwai says that Forum leaders at last week's summit in the Federated States of Micronesia reached consensus on reports of alleged human rights violations committed by Indonesia in Papua.

According to the Vanuatu Daily Post, this includes the Forum bringing the allegations to the table with Indonesia, and taking up the case at the UN Human Rights Committee.

This comes after the Forum abandoned last year's plan to have a fact-finding mission to Indonesia's Papua region, after Jakarta opposed the idea.

Despite West Papua self-determination and human rights abuses being billed as a leading item for the Forum leaders agenda last week, the summit's resulting communique was light on substance about Papua.

"Leaders recognised the political sensitivities of the issue of West Papua (Papua) and agreed the issue of alleged human rights violations in West Papua (Papua) should remain on their agenda," it read.

The leaders reportedly agreed on the importance of an open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia on the issue.

However the regional response about Papua is increasingly directed at the UN, rather than the Forum which Mr Salwai concedes has very few member states supporting the call for West Papuan self-determination.

He said the five Forum countries who do support it, believe that if there are human rights violations there, it is because of West Papuans' political aspirations.

Mr Salwai said the Forum resolved for these countries to take up the case at the UN Decolonisation Committee and he is going to raise the issue of alleged human rights abuses in West Papua at this month's UN General Assembly in New York.

Radio New Zealand International
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Wi melanesian people of west papua like to selft determination freedom We not lndonesia and we not melayu We melanesian people we pasific ocean people

Mr. Mehmet Guzel and I recently filed a petition with the UN 4th (Political Special Political and Decolonization) Committee pointing out that the remedy for the West Papua/Indonesia dispute is inherent in the resolutions and procedures already in the UN system.

I personally as a senior Church leader of West Papua, a current member (Deputy Chair) of the Advisory Board of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia,strongly encourage all Melanesian community in the Pacific (MSG and PIF) to highlight West Papua issue at the UNGA, for a political solution, after 53 years being treated as an occupied territory undermine West Papua Civil and Political rights, which has been manipulated since 1962, and engineered through the so called :"Act of Free Choice" ,which was an act of no Choice, where 1025 people selected to ellect under gunpoint and by force to be a part of Indonesia. It is for the sake of Humanity and Dignity of the Melanasian stock who were sistematically undergone continued Human Rights abuses ( where more than 200.000 people killed ), I plea my sincere hope for my fellow Pacific Sisters and brother to stand in solidarity with the Melanesian community in West Papua, to led my people go to freedom through the UN System.

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