Liza Yosephine, The Jakarta Post
apua’s place in the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia is not up for negotiation, a minister has said in a response to allegations of human rights violations conveyed during a recent UN General Assembly (UNGA) session.
“In diplomacy, several things are negotiable but some others cannot be negotiated. When it comes to the issue of support toward separatism, I think not only diplomats, but all of us, know that this is a point where we should stop,” Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi told journalists on Tuesday.
The minister was responding to criticism of Indonesia’s strong response to six Pacific Island heads of state, who conveyed their allegations of human rights violations in Papua and West Papua provinces during the recent UNGA in New York.
Retno asserted that Indonesia strongly upheld the principles of the UN Charter, which include non-interference and respecting other nations’ sovereignty. At the same time, she continued, Indonesia was committed to maintaining friendly relations with all countries.
“We will never act with hostility toward other countries and will continue to engage with them. But, again, when it comes to the issue of sovereignty and non-interference, once those [principles] are violated, that’s where we will stop [negotiating],” Retno said.
Nara Masista Rakhmatia, the second secretary at Indonesia’s permanent mission to the UN, called speeches made by the heads of state of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Tonga “interference” and said they aimed to encourage separatism in the two provinces.
The reported failure of Papua’s special autonomy has led to a rise of support for Papuan independence movements across the globe, particularly from Pacific nations. (ebf)