Daily Archives: September 15, 2016

Pacific leaders resolve for Papua to be taken up at UN

Vanuatu says the Pacific Islands Forum leaders have resolved for regional countries concerned about West Papua to take it up at the United Nations.

Leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum in the Federated States of Micronesia in 2016.

Leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum in the Federated States of Micronesia in 2016. Photo: PNG PM media

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.

Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Charlot Salwai listens to speeches at the 16-nation Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) opening in the Micronesian capital Palikir on September 8, 2016.

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.

Pacific leaders resolve for Papua to be taken up at UN was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

Melanesians’ support for West Papua strong – Natuman

Vanuatu’s deputy prime minister says the strong support for West Papuans among the people of Melanesia should eventually translate to a co-ordinated regional response.

Joe Natuman admits there are differences of approach on Papua among member governments of the Melanesian Spearhead Group about the bid for full membership by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.
Ousted Vanuatu Prime Minister Joe Natuman

Deputy Prime Minster Joe Natuman. Photo: RNZI / Kim Baker-Wilson

Deputy Prime Minster Joe Natuman. Photo: RNZI / Kim Baker-Wilson

Mr Natuman said there’s been a lot of lobbying of members by Indonesia’s government, with announcements of assistance to regional governments.

But he said people in Melanesia are firmly in support for helping Papua.

“The population in Melanesia, so far they have been very vocal. Before it was only Vanuatu, but now Solomons, PNG and Fiji. The Churches are involved, the chiefs are involved, the general populace are involved. And I sure that eventually they’ll force their attitude regarding human rights, and self-determination and independence in West Papua.”

Mr Natuman conceded that the MSG has been a bit compromised due to is budgetary shortfalls, forcing it seek more funding for its operations but he doesn’t think Indonesia’s promises of help are genuine.

Melanesians’ support for West Papua strong – Natuman was originally published on PAPUAPost.com