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Pacific Coalition on West Papua Gains Momentum

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Two of ULMWP leader hand over a West Papua traditional bag for Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Manasye Sogavare in Honiara - Jubi/Victor Mambor

Two of ULMWP leader hand over a West Papua traditional bag for Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Manasye Sogavare in Honiara – Jubi/Victor Mambor

Jayapura, Jubi – 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 Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare 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 represented by Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga and Nauru’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Marlene Moses.
 
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 with the attendance of Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva and the Republic of Marshall Islands Minister for Public Works, David Paul.
 
All the initial PCWP members were represented at the meeting in Honolulu Friday 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, 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.
 
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, 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 Sopoaga 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, 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.
 
Ambassador Moses of Nauru 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, 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. (*)


SOURCE: SOLOMON ISLANDS PM’S PRESS SECRETARIAT/PACNEWS

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Australia Greens Party is ready bringing support to West Papua

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The panellists in a discussion ‘On Our Doorstep – West Papua’s Deadly Struggle for Independence’ that held at the Australian Greens Party National Conference, 19 – 20 May 2018 in Brisbane – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – The Australian Greens Party reaffirms their support for West Papua’s political demands on self-determination and its inclusion into the UN Decolonisation List at the upcoming General Assembly of the United Nations in 2019.

“Around 30 people including senators from the Greens attended the National Conference,” Veronika Koman, a human rights lawyer told Jubi on Wednesday (05/23/2010). Ms Koman was a panellist in a panel discussion at the Australian Green Party consolidation that held on Saturday, 19 May 2018 at Griffith University, Southbank Campus, Brisbane.

“I described the current state of human rights in Papua as well as how the response of the movement in Indonesia to support Papua’s issues. Regarding human rights, I spoke about the rights to self-determination according to the international law,” she told Jubi via WhatsApp call from Sydney, Australia (23/5/2018).

Also joined in the discussion entitled ‘On Our Doorstep – West Papua’s Deadly Struggle for Independence’ as panellists were Dr Jacob Rumbiak representing the ULMWP; a community-based researcher, lecturer and activist Jason MacLeod; and two senators from the Greens Richard Di Natale and Andrew Bartlett.

The panel discussion was part of a two-day Australian Greens Party National Conference held on 19 – 20 May 2018, which addressed strategic issues of the party’s working program. The theme for May’s Conference was ‘From the little things, big things grow’.

“We are honoured to hear from speakers regarding their activism for West Papua. Therefore, we urge the National Conference to support the Papuan people’s struggle for self-determination,” said the International Secretary of the Australian Green Party Viviene Glance in a press release for Jubi on Tuesday. (5/22/2018)

The Greens, as it commonly known, through a consensus post-panel discussion on 19 May 2018 set a resolution to show their support to West Papua, as follows:

1. To reaffirm our commitment to the right to self-determination of the West Papuan people;

2. To recognise the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) as the representative of political aspirations of the West Papuan people;

3. To support West Papua to be re-incorporated into the UN Decolonization list at the upcoming General Assembly 2019;

4. To urge the full disclosure of Australian aid in West Papua granted to the Indonesian Police and the military, including the Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation, Special Detachment 88;

5. To request the Indonesian government to support the human rights of West Papuans, including freedom of the press and freedom of expression;

6. To ask freedom of access for foreign journalists to West Papua.

“As a result of the panel discussion, the Greens Party members agreed in a consensus to establish an urgent resolution for West Papua at the conference,” Glance wrote.

Since May 2016, the Australian Greens Party has joined with other parliamentarians from several countries to support West Papuans towards their political future. The Greens Party leader Di Natale, who launched the Australian International Parliamentarians for West Papua in 2012, regretted Australia’s lack of interest to West Papua in his 2016 speech.

“Though the UN has stated the Papuan people are threatened with extinction if human rights in Papua still violated, unfortunately, their suffering ignored by the Australian Government,” said Di Natale.

The Australian Greens Party is a political party based on four key principles, namely ecological sustainability, grassroots democracy, social justice and peace and non-violence. They have nine senators representing eight states and one territory, and a senator representing the party in the Australian federal parliament. (*)

 

Reporter: Zely Ariane

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Shift in Solomon Islands government’s view on Papua

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Solomon Islands parliament Photo: RNZ/ Koroi Hawkins

Solomon, Jubi – A leading foreign affairs official from the Solomon Islands government says it’s now seeing a balanced picture on Indonesia’s Papua region.

The government is consulting with the provinces as it formulates an official position on West Papuan human rights and self-determination issues.

Consultations follow a visit by a Solomons government-led delegation to Indonesia’s provinces of Papua and West Papua at the invitation of Jakarta.

The Solomons’ Special Secretary on Foreign Relations, Rence Sore, was one of the government officials in the delegation.

He said the visit was aimed at achieving a balanced picture of what’s going on in Papua.

“Before we went we had been listening to the other side of the story. And the story we heard, we were always hearing at that time, was there’s always human rights abuse, there’s always fighting for independence, someone is being killed and all that. It’s one-sided, all one-sided.”

Rence Sore said that when they went to Papua region, the story was entirely different.

He said that for now the government had yet to decide on its official position regarding West Papua and Papua provinces.

“We’re trying to give the government a good picture. Both sides of the coin we have to tell the government, and the government independently makes that policy decision.”

The delegation’s visit and resulting report were indications that the Solomon Islands government, under prime minister Rick Hou, was approaching a different stand on Papua to that of the previous prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Mr Sogavare, who is now the deputy prime minister, campaigned internationally about West Papuan human rights issues. He was also supportive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, and instrumental in its admission to the Melanesian Spearhead Group in 2015.

The Liberation Movement, which Indonesia’s government opposes, last month voiced disappointment that it wasn’t notified by Solomon Islands about the delegation’s visit.

Mr Sore, who said his government consulted with Indonesian authorities for the visit, noted the Liberation Movement’s strong connections with civil society organisations in Solomon Islands.

“And to some extent, that strong connection also was with the previous Solomon Islands leadership, government, prime minister.

“We went (to Indonesia) with authorisation from the current prime minister, and official authorities were notified.

However Mr Sore would not be drawn on whether the Hou-led government had shifted position on Papua.

“That decision is not yet formal. It depends entirely on the report. We did a report when we came back, and we are still doing the consultations on the policy. That policy will go through the government cabinet.” (*)

 

Source: radionz.co

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Will Solomon Islands change its position on West Papua case?

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Solomon officials who visit West Papua on April 2018 – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi/RNZI – A leading foreign affairs official from the Solomon Islands government says it’s now seeing a balanced picture on Indonesia’s Papua region.

The government is consulting with the provinces as it formulates an official position on West Papuan human rights and self-determination issues.

Consultations follow a visit by a Solomons government-led delegation to Indonesia’s provinces of Papua and West Papua at the invitation of Jakarta.

The Solomons’ Special Secretary on Foreign Relations, Rence Sore, was one of the government officials in the delegation.

He said the visit was aimed at achieving a balanced picture of what’s going on in Papua.

“Before we went we had been listening to the other side of the story. And the story we heard, we were always hearing at that time, was there’s always human rights abuse, there’s always fighting for independence, someone is being killed and all that. It’s one-sided, all one-sided.”

Rence Sore said that when they went to Papua region, the story was entirely different.

He said that for now the government had yet to decide on its official position regarding West Papua and Papua provinces.

“We’re trying to give the government a good picture. Both sides of the coin we have to tell the government, and the government independently makes that policy decision.”

The delegation’s visit and resulting report were indications that the Solomon Islands government, under prime minister Rick Hou, was approaching a different stand on Papua to that of the previous prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Mr Sogavare, who is now the deputy prime minister, campaigned internationally about West Papuan human rights issues. He was also supportive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, and instrumental in its admission to the Melanesian Spearhead Group in 2015.

The Liberation Movement, which Indonesia’s government opposes, last month voiced disappointment that it wasn’t notified by Solomon Islands about the delegation’s visit.

Mr Sore, who said his government consulted with Indonesian authorities for the visit, noted the Liberation Movement’s strong connections with civil society organisations in Solomon Islands.

“And to some extent, that strong connection also was with the previous Solomon Islands leadership, government, prime minister.

“We went (to Indonesia) with authorisation from the current prime minister, and official authorities were notified.

However Mr Sore would not be drawn on whether the Hou-led government had shifted position on Papua.

“That decision is not yet formal. It depends entirely on the report. We did a report when we came back, and we are still doing the consultations on the policy. That policy will go through the government cabinet.”

Regarding that visit, The Solomon Star reports Development Service Exchange (DSE) spokesperson Jennifer Wate made the comment while rejecting any involvement in the trip.

This is despite DSE chairperson, Inia Barry, being among several from civil society organisations who went along on the visit which was hosted by Indonesia.

Ms Wate said her organisation had found out about the trip the evening before the delegation‘s departure for West Papua.

The DSE did not endorse Mr Barry or any of the other civil society representatives who took part in the West Papua visit, she said

Ms Wate maintained her organisation was not aware of any details of the trip or its terms of reference and she called on the Solomon Islands government in the future to formally approach the DSE on matters that required civil sector representation.

Ms Wate also admonished the government for not informing civil society groups in West Papua ahead of their trip. (*)

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