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Seven Pacific Island called UNHRC over West Papua issue

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Octovianus Mote (left) and Benny Wenda (right) with Rex Horoi (second from rigth) on press conference at UNHRC headquarters, Thursday (2/3/2017) – Jubi/Victor Mambor

Geneva, Switzerland– The Pacific Island nations of Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau and the Marshall Islands issued a joint statement today, March 2, calling on the UN Human Rights Council to request the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to produce a comprehensive report on the current human rights situation in West Papua, which has been under Indonesian rule since the 1960s.

Their joint statement follows the separate statements of urgent concern about the situation in West Papua by these countries at the U.N. General Assembly in September 2016.

“West Papua has seen more than a half-century of conflict between native Papuans and the Indonesian government in Jakarta and its military, which has long been accused of grave human rights violations, most notably in East Timor,” said Octovianus Mote, General Secretary of United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) on press conference at UNHRC headquarters, Saturday (2/3/2017).

He added Papuans have consistently insisted on their right to a proper act of self-determination and demanded a referendum on independence. The 1969 ‘Act of Free Choice,’ in which Indonesia allowed only 1026 Papuans to ‘vote’ out of the hundreds of thousands eligible, is now widely seen as a sham.

Rex Horoi, special envoy on West Papua issue of Goverment of Solomon Islands said the last three years have witnessed a resurgence of interest in the plight of West Papua throughout the Pacific Islands.  Both the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the two most important intergovernmental bodies of the region, have put West Papua at the center of their deliberations.

“Led by the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, a majority of the governments have also formed the Pacific Island Coalition for West Papua. The focus of their concern has been on West Papuan human rights, self-determination, and the very survival of an indigenous people and culture in their own land. Fifty years of state-sponsored Indonesian migration has made Papuans a poor, marginalized minority in large parts of the province,” said Horoi.

For decades, West Papuans have sought international scrutiny of human rights and other violations. The province has been virtually closed off to foreign media and outside human rights organizations.  Last year, Indonesia rebuffed ministerial-level fact-finding missions from the MSG and PIF.

The joint statement notes that the Government of Indonesia has neither provided justice for the victims of these violations, nor issued the periodic human rights reviews and reports required of U.N. member states, nor taken any action to address the current human rights situation in West Papua.

Estimates of the numbers of Papuans killed by the Indonesian military and police range from some one hundred thousand into the hundreds of thousands (of a native population of a million-plus Papuans).

A former Dutch colony administered with significant differences from the rest of the Dutch East Indies, West Papua only became an unwilling and official part of Indonesia twenty years after that country’s independence. Papuans and foreign observers, including political leaders of the Pacific region, view Indonesian rule as a ‘second colonialism.’

The decade-old Human Rights Council, the successor body to the UN Commission on Human Rights, is the principal arm of the United Nations responsible for addressing human rights violations. The Council has an elected three-year membership drawn from five geographic regions. None of those countries issuing the joint statement is currently a member of the Council; Indonesia is in the last year of its second (and final) consecutive term. (*)

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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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