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

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The United Nations General Assembly Hall where leaders convene every September to discuss UN Agendas in the world - UNWEB

The United Nations General Assembly Hall where leaders convene every September to discuss UN Agendas in the world – UNWEB

Jayapura, Jubi Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, 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.

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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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WEST PAPUA SOLIDARITY FOR EARTHQUAKE DISASTER IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

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West Papua visit lacked transparency says Solomons group

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Downtown Jayapura – RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

There should have been more transparency around a government-led delegation’s visit to West Papua last month, a leader of Solomon Islands civil society says.

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. (*)

 

Source: Radio NZ

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