Listening to the Pacific beat on Papua

Budi Hernawan, Jakarta | Thu, September 29 2016 | 08:07 am

In an unprecedented move, seven UN member states from the Pacific raised their concerted voices on Papua during the prestigious 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York this week.

Nauru started the intervention by highlighting the issue of human rights violations in Papua, followed by a newcomer in the discourse of Papua: the Marshall Islands.

Vanuatu, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands followed suit and went one step further by specifically highlighting the issue of the right to self-determination for Papuans. Tonga emphasised the gravity of the problem and Palau, another novice, called for constructive dialogue with Indonesia to solve the Papua issue.

This was a historic moment for us as we have never had such unified high-profile intervention when it comes to the issue of Papua at the UN. Perhaps the only lone ranger used to be Vanuatu, which tried to break the silence of the UN fora.

This week’s debate at the UN General Assembly might remind us of a similar but much more colorful debate on Papua at the assembly in 1969, when the forum decided to close the chapter on Papua by accepting the result of the Act of Free Choice.

If in 1969 some African countries expressed opposition to the assembly’s decision to adopt the result of the 1969 Act of Free Choice for Papuans, today the Pacific nations are taking the lead.

Indonesia’s response, however, was highly predictable. Repeating the slogan of territorial integrity and sovereignty, the government’s response unfortunately does not provide us with facts and evidence of the improvement in the human rights situation in Papua.

It may be remembered that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo promised to solve the killing of four high-school students in Paniai on Dec. 8, 2014. The investigation into the case has been delayed for almost two years and we have not seen much progress.

The families of the victims recall that at least eight government institutions sent their respective fact-finding team to interview victims on the ground and personnel of the Army, the Papua Police, the National Police, the Air Force, the Papua Legislative Council, the Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK), the Office of Coordinating Security, Political and Legal Affairs Minister, the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM). None of these teams, however, has ever published their report for public consumption.

Similarly, the dossiers on the Wasior killings of 2001 and the Wamena case of 2003 have been pending for more than a decade at the Attorney General once Komnas HAM finished its investigation. These were not ordinary crimes but crimes against humanity, one of the most serious crimes punishable by Indonesian and international law. Unfortunately, both Komnas HAM and the Attorney General’s Office have argued over evidence and procedure for years.

Komnas HAM insists that it has provided conclusive evidence and has followed proper procedure. On the other hand, the Attorney General’s Office has argued that Komnas HAM has not met the requirement of a pro-justice investigation as investigators did not take an oath as required by the Criminal Law Procedures Code. Both institutions have overlooked the fact that victims continue to suffer.

Memories are still fresh on the surge in the arrests of Papuan youth when they took to the streets to express their opinions in public despite a constitutional guarantee of the right to do so.

The Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) documented that at least 4,587 individuals, men and women, were arrested by the police for expressing their political views in 13 cities, namely Dekai, Fakfak, Jakarta, Jayapura, Kaimana, Makassar, Malang, Manado Manokwari, Merauke, Sentani, Wamena and Yogyakarta.

While most of the arrestees were released within 24 hours, the deployment of police in 13 jurisdictions across the country would not have been possible without the blessing of the National Police top brass.

While we were grappling with human rights conditions in Papua, we were shocked by the President’s decision to appoint Gen. (ret) Wiranto as the coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister.

In February 2003, the UN-sponsored Special Panels for Serious Crimes of the Dili District Court, Timor Leste, indicted Gen. Wiranto, then the Indonesian defense and security minister and Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI) commander for crimes against humanity in connection with the events in Timor Leste in 1999.

As we were yet to recover from the President’s unfathomable choice, we were presented with another unprecedented decision when the Indonesian Military TNI chief named Maj. Gen. Hartomo to lead the military’s Strategic Intelligence Agency (BAIS).

Hartomo was the commander of the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) Tribuana X unit assigned to Papua when Theys Eluay was murdered. Hartomo and six other Kopassus officers were charged with Theys’ murder on National Heroes Day in 2001. He and his team were found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison by the Surabaya Military Court and discharged from the Army.

These all are simple facts that tell us the way our government commits to human rights in Papua and elsewhere, which the Indonesian delegation to the UN General Assembly describes as “robust and active”.

The writer, who obtained his PhD from the Australian National University, lectures in international relations at the Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy, Jakarta.

PM Reiterates Call For Recognition Of Taiwan, Expresses Concern On WP

he United Nations General Assembly Hall where leaders convene every September to discuss UN Agendas in the world.
he United Nations General Assembly Hall where leaders convene every September to discuss UN Agendas in the world.

By PM Press, Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare has reiterated Solomon Islands call on the United Nations for the recognition of Taiwan and expressed concern about the human rights violations in West Papua when he addressed the 71st United Nations General Assembly yesterday, Friday 23rd September.

Solomon Islands commits a section in its annual address to the United Nations General Assembly to call on the UN for the recognition of Taiwan and when reiterating that call yesterday, the Prime Minister said, “Solomon Islands recognises the fundamental right of Taiwan’s 23 million people to participate meaningfully in the United Nations specialised bodies.”

However, the Prime Minister said Solomon Islands finds Taiwan’s limited and restricted participation with the World Health Organisation regrettable, especially at a time when the spread of infectious diseases is impacting children and needs everyone to assist.

He said similarly, Taiwan remains unjustly on the fringes of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s decision-making process despite managing more than a million flights or 58 million passengers through ‘Taipei Flight Information Region.’

“We (therefore) call for Taiwan’s open and free access to all WHO meetings and also call for Taiwan’s predictable and certain participation in ICAO gatherings.

“There has always been two political systems along the Taiwan Strait and the reality is the world works with one and turns a blind eye to the other.”

He said the implementation of the (UN) 2030 Agenda calls for all hands on deck and therefore the UN must put the interest of humanity first and work with all including Taiwan.

On the issue of human rights violations in West Papua, the Prime Minister said Solomon Islands is gravely concerned about the human rights violations against Melanesians in that region.

And he added that the human rights violations and the pursuit for self-determination of West Papua are two sides of the same coin.

“Many reports on the human rights violations in West Papua emphasise the inherent corroboration between the rights to self-determination that results in direct violations of human rights by Indonesia in its attempts to smother any form of opposition.”

The Prime Minister said, “The principle of sovereignty is paramount to any institution whose core rationale is the respect for sovereignty. If the justification of sovereignty rests on a series of decisions that are questionable, then there is a case to challenge the legality of the argument of sovereignty.”

He added that, “As the chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group that also includes Indonesia as an associate member and the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) as an Observer, Solomon Islands affirms the need for constructive engagement with Indonesia and looks forward in cooperating with Indonesia to address the violations of human rights in West Papua.

The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to reaffirm Solomon Islands support for the unalienable right of the people of the Territory of French Polynesia pursuant to annual resolutions of the UNGA beginning in 2013.

He said Solomon Islands continues to request the Administering power to work and cooperate with the UN Special Committee on the question of French Polynesia and C24 (UN Committee on Decolonisation).

The Prime Minister also made mentioned the question of New Caledonia on the United Nations Agenda.

He said the Melanesian Spearhead Group continues this issue and wished the people of New Caledonia all the best as they prepare to decide on their political future in 2018.

Pacific leaders raise West Papua at the UN

Leaders of six Pacific Island nations have highlighted concern about West Papua while speaking at the United Nations General Assembly.

At the general debate of the Assembly’s 71st session, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Nauru, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu called for UN action on alleged human rights abuses in Papua.

Calls for West Papuan self-determination rights to be respected were also made by some of the leaders.

Johnny Blades filed this report. Listen

Pacific leaders at the UN General Assembly expressed concern about human rights abuses in Papua.

Pacific leaders at the UN General Assembly expressed concern about human rights abuses in Papua. Top L to R: Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai; Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare; Tonga Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva. Bottom L to R: Nauru President Baron Waqa; Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine; Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga Photo: UN Photo

Solomons urges Indonesia to allow Papua scrutiny

RNZ – Solomon Islands has again called on Indonesia to cooperate with the United Nations Human Rights Council to allow a UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression to visit its Papua region.

A march through the streets of Honiara in support of West Papua's bid to join the MSG.
A march through the streets of Honiara in support of West Papua’s bid to join the MSG. Photo: Supplied

The call was made by a Solomons official Barrett Salato at the Human Rights Council Meeting in Geneva.

Mr Salato said there was a worrying trend by member states resisting human rights scrutiny by the Council.

A march through the streets of Honiara in support of West Papua's bid for MSG membership
A march through the streets of Honiara in support of West Papua’s bid for MSG membership Photo: Supplied

He said some large democracies professed to uphold universal human rights values but evaded scrutiny of their domestic practices by claiming non-interference in their sovereign affairs.

Mr Salato said Solomon Islands had consistently raised its concerns about human rights violations in West Papua and called for independent investigations of the reports.

Pacific Coalition On West Papua Gains Momentum

PMPress – The Pacific Coalition on West Papua (PCWP) is gaining momentum with the addition of two new members and the confirmation of the membership of two other parties who indicated their profound support for the initiative since its introduction in Honiara, Solomon Islands in July this year.

The PCWP was initiated by Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare of Solomon Islands who is also the Chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group with the aim of securing the support of the wider Pacific region for preposition of taking up the issue of West Papua with the United Nations for intervention. The initial membership comprises Solomon Islands Government, Vanuatu Government, Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) and the United Liberation Movement of West Papua and the Pacific Islands Alliance of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO).

The two new members are the governments of Tuvalu and the Republic of Nauru who were respectively represented at the first meeting of the in the capital of the American Aloha State, Honolulu, yesterday Friday 2nd September, by Prime Minister Hon Enele Sopoaga and Her Excellency Marlene Moses. The latter serves as Nauru’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

The other two parties who indicated support for the initiative when it was introduced in Honiara at the margin of the 4th Pacific Islands Development Summit are the Kingdom of Tonga and the Republic of Marshall Islands. The expressed support of the governments of these two countries was confirmed today with the attendance of Prime Minister Hon Akilisi Pohiva and the Republic of Marshall Islands Minister for Public Works, Hon David Paul.

Members and friends of the Pacific Coalition on West Papua at the East-West Centre in Honolulu.
Members and friends of the Pacific Coalition on West Papua with the Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor at the East-West Centre in Honolulu.

All the initial PCWP members were represented at the meeting except for the Republic of Vanuatu Government. The Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor was also present at the meeting.

In his opening remarks today, Prime Minister Sogavare said the nations of the Pacific have a duty as closest neigbours to West Papua to address the issues of concern to West Papuan.

He said the right to self-determination being denied to the people of West Papua since the last 50 years is a fundamental principle of the United Nations Charter, just like the rights to life and dignity that they are also denied as a result of their self-determination pursuit.

He added that the intention of the PCWP is perfectly in line with the principles of human rights and democracy, the very basis of the UN Charter, which all UN Member states should adhere to and protect.

Members and friends of the Pacific Coalition on West Papua during their meeting.

Prime Minister Sogavare said it would not be an easy task to unwind the wrongs that have been perpetrated by the complications and cover-up on the issue of West Papua over the years and this is where the need for collaborative and strategic approaches to this issue comes in.

“Only by working together and strategically dealing with the issue of West Papua can we accomplish the objective of our mission,” he said.

PIF Secretary-General Dame Taylor in her contribution to the discussions presented the forum’s position on the issue. She said the 46th PIF Summit in Port Moresby in 2015 resolved to send a fact-finding mission to West Papua, however the Indonesian Government sees the term ‘fact-finding’ as offensive and therefore that resolution impending implementation.

Dame Taylor said she has meet with the PIF’s Chair, Prime Minister O’Neill of Papua New Guinea and also the Indonesian President on the way forward on the resolution and the PIF’s Chair will meet with the President.

The Secretary-General of the ULMWP, Mr Octovanius Mote said the ULMWP represents the freedom movement of West Papua, which continues to pursue the rights of West Papuans to their land, self-determination and all other human rights enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

Prime Minister Sapoaga of Tuvalu said his country fully appreciates and sympathises with the aspirations and wishes of the people of West Papua to be on their own and fully realises their rights to exist as a country and determine their own continuation as a people.

The Pacific Coalition of West Papua members and friends discussing the way forward for the struggles for self-determination by the people of West Papua.

Minister Paul of the Republic of Marshall Islands said his country sees the issue of West Papua from a humanitarian perspective and humanitarian issues are at the forefront of the Marshall Islands Government.

The FLNKS representative, Mr Rodrigue Tiavouane said the FLNKS fully supports the PCWP initiative and the strategy by which it will be implemented.

He said the FLNKS went through the same process with its self-determination bid- starting with the Melanesian Spearhead Group then on to the Pacific Islands Forum and finally the UN Committee 24 (Special Committee on Decolonisation).

Prime Minister Pohiva of Tonga said it is a moral obligation to address the human rights abuses in West Papua and deteriorating conditions and call for self-determination and independence.

He said at the 70th United Nations General Assembly last year he spoke of how the objectives of good governance and accountability are all impossible without full support for human rights of people in areas of conflict throughout the world including the Pacific Islands.

The Solomon Islands Government Special Envoy on West Papua, Mr Rex Horoi, left end, at the Pacific Coalition on West Papua meeting.

Ambassador Moses of Tuvalu said it is important that the issue of West Papua be taken to UN C24 and to be successful it is important for the Pacific to have strong leadership in pursuing it in a strategic manner.

She said what works some people does not always work for others.

PIANGO Tonga Member, Mr Drew Havea said he was encouraged by the leadership on the issue of West Papua displayed by Prime Minister Sogavare.

He said PIANGO acknowledges the pain of the people of West Papua as the pain of the Pacific and would like to urge Pacific leaders to come to an agreement to stop the violence in West Papua and find a peaceful and dignified pathway to self-determination.

The meeting concluded with the expression of commitment by all PCWP members to their mission objective.

Change of mood on West Papua issue

AVINESH GOPAL, Fiji Times Online, Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Update: 12:23PM PACIFIC Islands Association of NGOs executive director Emele Duituturaga says the groundswell of support for West Papua across the region is the ideal build up to the upcoming Forum Leaders meeting in Federated States of Micronesia.

Ms Duituturaga made the comments after presenting the issue of West Papua to the Regional Civil Society Forum in Suva last week.

“There is definitely a change of mood across the Pacific on this issue as they begin to understand the severity of the human rights abuses and violence faced by West Papuans and the colonial history,” she said in a statement today.

“Our CSO forum heard of issues raised in national consultations and what other CSO partners had echoed and we were pleased to hear that there is widespread support from CSO partners across the region for this as a priority regional issue.

“So it is heartening to see West Papua under the list of initiatives for leaders consideration in the summary of recommendations compiled by the Forum Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism.”

Pacific Journalism Review raises bar on West Papua, corruption issues

By PMC Editor – July 26, 2016

PMC chair A/Professor Camille Nakhid launches PJR with the editor, Professor David Robie, in the background. Image: Del Abcede/PMC
PMC chair A/Professor Camille Nakhid launches PJR with the editor, Professor David Robie, in the background. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Pacific Media Centre chair Dr Camille Nakhid has praised the latest edition of Pacific Journalism Review with a launch coinciding with the Fourth World Journalism Education Congress (WJEC) in Auckland.

She said it was a popular journal globally as well as in the Asia-Pacific region, and noted the presence of many international contributors to the latest edition at the launch.

“This journal has progressed through the persistence of Professor David Robie, Dr Philip Cass and Professor Wendy Bacon with support of the wonderful production efforts of Del Abcede and proof reading of Susan O’Rourke,” said Dr Nakhid, who is an associate professor in AUT’s School of Social Science and Public Policy at Auckland University of Technology.

She said this latest issue of the journal, the only one regularly publishing New Zealand journalism research, was timely as it coincided with the WJEC conference and an Australian and Pacific Preconference.

There had been much attention on alleged corruption in New Zealand under the current government, particularly in reference to the Panama Papers, and ongoing corruption in the Pacific and wider Oceania region.

“This issue of the journal covers articles by those journalists and media researchers who have brought these issues to light,” she said.

“The articles also discuss the lives of journalists and their risks and dangers, our damage to the environment and many other issues.

“We need young journalists to live to become old journalists and so we very much welcome this journal and the launch of this current issue theme titled ‘Endangered Journalists’.”

Local WP activists: We will not back down, Published: 18 July 2016

LOCAL West Papua activists in the country said they will not back down in their move to see West Papua included in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

The group made the stand after the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) deferred the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s (ULMWP) application for full membership in their recent meeting in Honiara, last week.

They said, they shared similar thoughts raised by the spokesperson of the ULMWP Benny Wenda, that this could be seen as a delayed tactic.

“We will not back down.

“We will continue to fight for our Melanesian brothers and sisters until they are members of the MSG,” the group told the Solomon Star, after the outcome of the MSG’s decision last week.

Last week, the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Special Leaders Summit agreed to defer the consideration of the application for full membership by the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP).

It was reported that the delay was agreed to until membership criteria and guidelines are further developed by the Sub-Committee on Legal and Institutional Issues (SCLII), considering fundamental principles, political aspirations, and principles of international law and to be completed end of September 2016.

Leaders did not reach consensus and directed the SCLII to undertake further review on:

(i) the revised application Procedures, Criteria, and Participatory Rights and Obligations of an Observer and an Associate Member to the MSG.

(ii) the new membership guidelines for full membership to the MSG.

However, the membership application will now be considered at a special MSG meeting to be held in Vanuatu in September.

A peaceful rally staged in Honiara last week also attracted up to 3,000 people.


Jakarta slams Solomons and Vanuatu over human rights

6:53 pm on 27 June 2016,

Indonesia has strongly rejected statements about West Papua by Vanuatu and Solomon Islands at the UN Human Rights Council session last week.

Delegates of the two Pacific Islands’ countries accused Indonesia of failing to prevent ongoing human rights abuses against West Papuans.

But Indonesia’s delegate at the session, Michael Tene, said Vanuatu and Solomon Islands’ statements showed a lack of understanding of Papua.

He said they were politically motivated in support of separatist groups which incite public disorder and terrorist attacks against civilians and security personnel.

Indonesia as a democratic country is committed to promoting and protecting human rights, including by taking necessary steps to address the allegations of human rights violations and abuses in Papua. No one is perfect. We are always open to have dialogue on human rights issues, but we reject politicisation of these issues. We deplore the way Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have abused this council and the universal principles of the promotion and protection of human rights by supporting the cause of separatism.

Michael Tene from Indonesia’s Permanent Mission to the UN.

He has described Vanuatu and Solomon Islands as being far from perfect on protection of human rights.

He said the two countries still face serious human rights problems, have rampant corruption in all segments of society and government, human trafficking, mistreatment of children and daily abuse of women.

“It would be for the betterment of their populations if the governments of Solomon Islands and Vanuatu give attention and priority to seriously address their respective own domestic human rights shortcomings.”

Furthermore, Mustika Hanum, the third secretary at Indonesia’s Permanent Mission, expanded on her country’s concerns about domestic violence in Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands and Vanuatu call for West Papuan human rights to be supported at UN Human Rights Council

FWPC – On Wednesday 22nd June the governments of the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu made historic statements at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on the deteriorating human rights situation in West Papua.
Solomons un

Solomon Islands government representative who spoke on behalf of his country, supporting the people of West Papua, at the United Nations Human Rights Council

Speaking first the Solomon Islands government representative said,

“The delegation of Solomon Islands would like to draw the attention of the Council on the human right situation in West Papua, Indonesia. We express our deep concerns on the eroding human rights situation of the indigenous Melanesian Papuans, who are the indigenous population of West Papua. As a Melanesian state, the incumbent chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, and designated chair of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) would extend its solidarity to our fellow Melanesians in West Papua. We would encourage the Government of Indonesia to find peaceful and sustainable solution of the on-going conflict in West Papua through constructive engagement with the representatives of the West Papuans and respect their right as a people.

“Whilst we welcome the increased attention given by President Joko Widodo to West Papua, the violation of human rights against West Papuan remains unresolved. The Solomon Islands government receives regular reports of cases of arbitrary arrests, summary execution, torture, ill-treatment, restriction of freedom of expression, assembly and association, committed mainly by the Indonesian police.

“On 2 May 2016 alone, 2,109 people were arrested mainly indigenous Melanesian Papuans, while participating in peaceful demonstrations in several cities in West Papua and some Indonesian cities. The demonstrations were held in support of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) to be recognized as a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), the commemoration of 1 May 1963 as Indonesia’s annexation of West Papua and to support the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) meeting. During the arrest, some of them experienced torture and ill treatment from the Indonesian security forces.

“The Solomon Islands notes the recent outcomes of the Foreign Ministers Meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead group that was held last week in Fiji (14-17TH June 2016) where both Representatives of Indonesia and the ULMWP sat as MSG members during the deliberation. This outcome envisages to establish a safe space for constructive engagement with all parties with a view to addressing the concerns of the MSG members about the recent developments in West Papua. In this regard, the Foreign Ministers further agreed to establish a Committee of High Level Representatives of the MSG members to accompany and facilitate this constructive engagement.

“We also welcome the initiative of the MSG to work closely with the Indonesian government to visit the Melanesian Provinces of Indonesia at a later date. This important visit would allow for a clear, objective and independent view by the members of the MSG leaders and ministers.

“We strongly endorsed the final declaration of this International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) Forum which took place in London on 3 May which calls for an internationally supervised vote on the independence of West Papua. The declaration has been endorsed by cross regional parliamentarians coming from 15 UN member States.

“Journalists working on human rights are still prevented to have free and full access to do their work in West Papua. Our delegation is convinced that access of international community to West Papua, particularly to the UN Special Procedure, will provide an opportunity to improve the human rights situation. We reassure the Government of Indonesia to cooperate with the Human Rights Council by allowing the agreed visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression to Indonesia which should include to West Papua.

“Finally, we encourage the Indonesian Government to facilitate the human rights fact-finding mission to West Papua that the members of the Pacific Island Forum have decided to conduct.’
vanuatu 4 un

Vanuatu government representative who spoke on behalf of his country, supporting the people of West Papua, at the United Nations Human Rights Council

“Thank you Mr President”

The Vanuatu government representative then briefed the United Nations council and said

“My delegation associates itself with the statement made by Solomon Islands.

“Vanuatu wishes to express to the Council our deepest concerns on the deteriorating human right situation in West Papua. We continue to receive increasing reports of gross human rights violations in West Papua.

“In the recent months more than a thousand of West Papuans were arrested by Indonesia police for participating in peaceful demonstrations. This contradicts the responsibility to protect and facilitate protests that advocate for political and cultural views that differ from, and even oppose, those espoused by the Government.

“Whilst we acknowledge and welcome the Report by the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom and of association, which gave example of West Papuans whose rights to freedom of assembly and of associations are restricted by the Indonesian Government, Vanuatu would like to call upon the Human Rights Council to do more.

“We call on the Council to work with Indonesia Government to allow the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression to visit West Papua to get objective and independent views of the situation on the ground in that region.

“We also call on the Government of Indonesia to allow free and full access of international journalist to West Papua and allow the human rights fact-finding mission by the Pacific Islands Forum.

“Thank you Mr. President”.

Speaking after his statement, the Solomon Islands government representative spoke about how he was positive of the Solomon Islands raising support for West Papua at the United Nations.

“Well just a few minutes ago the Solomon Islands made statement at the Human Rights Council about highlighting the continuous human rights violations in West Papua. Its really good, I really feel happy that the Solomon Islands is able to make such statements at the Council level. I think that it will give the International Community awareness of what’s going on. Not much information goes out to the International Community about whats happening so we thank the Rights body of the UN to raise the voices of our fellow human beings there that do not have a voice at the Human Rights Council.

“I’m glad as well that my college from Vanuatu made a statement in support of west Papua in highlighting the human rights issue in west Papua so its really great.”

The Vanuatu government representative also spoke of the Melanesian solidarity and support for West Papua at the United Nations.

“Thank you, we Melanesian brothers, we made statement in association with the Solomon Islands here in the Human Rights Council. We made statements on requiring the human rights considerations along what has been happening in the place of human rights in West Papua and we hope the statement which has been stated today will be groundwork for the Commissioner, the Council to take note of the human rights issues in West Papua.

“And we as Vanuatu, we stand, we support our Melanesian brothers, as the founder of Vanuatu stated that Vanuatu will not be Independent until all our Melanesian brothers get Independent. Thank you.”

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