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PIF Chair, Regarding West Papua Issue : I have Written to H.E Mr Joko Widodo

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Flags of PIF countries - Supplied

Flags of PIF countries – Supplied

Jayapura, Jubi – Statement by the Pacific Islands Forum Chair, Hon. Peter O’Neill: Update on the Implementation of Regional Priorities

FRAMEWORK FOR PACIFIC REGIONALISM:
UPDATE ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF REGIONAL PRIORITIES

STATEMENT BY THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM CHAIR

In September 2015 Pacific Island Forum Leaders met in Port Moresby. A key aspect of that meeting was consideration of five regional priorities that were identified through the Framework for Pacific Regionalism. These priorities reflect a range of important issues facing the region: fisheries, climate change, information and communications technology (ICT), cervical cancer, and allegations of human rights abuse. Since the conclusion of the Leaders’ Meeting, the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP), sub-regional organisations such as the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, civil society and the private sector have been working together to begin implementing the Leaders’ recommendations around these issues. It is worth reiterating that Forum Members, and particularly relevant sectoral agencies at the national level, are crucial to the continued successful implementation of these priorities. I would like to give you an update on the status of each priority.

Fisheries

The fisheries priority consists of two aspects: increasing sustainable economic returns on fisheries, and evaluating the current monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) arrangements in the Pacific. Leaders also endorsed the Regional Roadmap for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries.

The first step in progressing this priority has been the establishment of a multi-agency fisheries taskforce. This taskforce, which held its first meeting of Officials at the Forum Secretariat on 22 January, consists of the Forum Fisheries Agency, the Pacific Community, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. This meeting gave participating agencies the opportunity to discuss existing and new measures to increase sustainable economic returns on fisheries and look at current reviews of MCS arrangements in the Pacific. A meeting of Chief Executive Officers of the taskforce agencies is being planned for February 2016, to provide high level oversight of this work. It is envisaged that a programme for tangibly and sustainably increasing economic returns of fisheries over the next five years will be presented for Forum Leaders’ endorsement in 2016.

The fisheries taskforce will provide updates to the relevant Ministerial meetings, including Forum Foreign, Fisheries and Economic Ministers meetings, to allow Ministers to provide guidance and advice on this priority.

Climate Change

I am very pleased to report a successful outcome has been reached against the regional priority on climate change, with Forum Leaders’ call for the “adoption of an ambitious and legally binding agreement” at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) having been achieved through the development and ratification of a post-2020 negotiated outcome called the ‘Paris Agreement’.

The Paris Agreement includes several important elements that Forum Leaders called for in their Declaration on Climate Change Action , including (a) pursuing efforts to limit temperature increase to a 1.5 degrees (Article 2); (b) a separate and standalone article on Loss and Damage (Article 8); and (c) simplified and scaled-up access to finance for SIDS (Article 9) that are specifically vulnerable to the adverse effects and have significant capacity constraints. These three issues in particular represented the core calls of Pacific island countries in the negotiations.

To implement the decision to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been tasked to produce a report on the feasibility and implications of achieving a 1.5 degree target by 2018. This will be further supported by 5-year review cycles to assess where the world is heading in terms of the temperature goal and opportunities to revise national commitments.

In light of Forum Leaders’ decision to extend the two current regional frameworks on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management for one year, the draft Strategy for Climate and Resilient Development in the Pacific will be revised using a country driven process that will incorporate concerns raised on some aspects of the framework.

ICT

The priority initiative pertaining to information and communication technology (ICT) asks for an assessment of the merits in establishing a regional ICT Advisory Council. This assessment is being led by the University of the South Pacific with support from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

Crucial stakeholders in this area including the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank are contributing to the analysis around ICT priority issues, and the CROP ICT Working Group will provide high level guidance to the assessment. The inclusion of a broad group of stakeholders allows for a considered and well informed response to Forum Leaders’ acknowledgment of the numerous challenges that exist in realising the benefits of ICT in the region. The recommendations of this assessment will be presented to Leaders in 2016.

Cervical Cancer

In response to the Forum Leaders’ decision on cervical cancer, the Pacific Community, which is mandated to work on regional health issues, is coordinating a study on the feasibility of carrying out a regional programme to address cervical cancer. This study will weigh the benefits of resourcing and conducting a regional program addressing cervical cancer, in light of the current prioritisation of addressing non-communicable diseases across the region. With guidance from the CROP Health & Population Working Group, the study will be conducted in the first half of 2016. Key recommendations will then be presented to Forum Leaders in 2016.

West Papua

As agreed by Forum Leaders, I have written to H.E Mr Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia conveying the PIF Leaders views on the human rights allegations and expressed the desire of the PIF to consult on a fact finding mission to discuss the situation in Papua with the parties involved. This was conveyed early this year and I am awaiting a response from Jakarta.

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Source : PIF Secretariat

Economy

Papua Governor says will facilitate Morobe Governor to visit Freeport

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Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, visited PNG recently – RNZI

Jayapura, Jubi – Ginson Sauno, the Governor of Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG) asked Papua Governor Lukas Enembe to facilitate the visit of Morobe Provincial Government to the mine site of PT. Freeport Indonesia in Timika.

He conveyed this during a dinner that held by Morobe Provincial Government in Lae City on Thursday (09/20/2018) to welcome the governor and the contingent of Papua provincial government.

“Morobe’s capital, Lae City, often hosts some national events on mining. Therefore, we ask the Governor of Papua to facilitate us visiting PT. Freeport Indonesia,” said Governor Sauno.

Morobe is crucial for PNG because it has main ports in the Pacific region, agricultural industry and plantations, as well as cattle and poultry farms, mining and other major industries. So,  it provides and distributes most of the daily needs of the national community.

Geographically, Morobe is a province located on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea with a population of around 750,000 people living in 33,705 km² area. As a result of the division of the Southern Highlands Province in 2012, the province becomes the most populous province in PNG which consists of Huon Peninsula, Markham River, Delta and the coastal areas along the Huon Bay.

In responding the request of Governor Saonu, Governor Enembe promised to facilitate a team of Morobe Province to visit the mining site of PT. Freeport Indonesia. “As far as known, we just gained 10 of 51 per cent of Freeport’s shares. So I will help to facilitate the visit of Governor Morobe and his team,” said the governor.

Besides visiting PT. Freeport Indonesia, Governor Saonu also offered Governor Enembe the teaching and learning exchange program. According to him, the main obstacle for two provinces in the collaboration is language. Therefore, Morobe Province will send their English teachers to Papua, and in turn, Papua Province will send the Indonesian language teachers.

Meanwhile, for the student exchange program, Governor Saonu offers a scholarship program for Morobe students who want to continue their higher education in Papua.

Governor Enembe has very welcomed this offer. “We have sent many Papuan students abroad for study. So we will follow up the offer from Governor Saonu soon,” he said.

He also regretted not being able to meet with Governor Saonu last year to sign the Letter of Intent (LoI) because at that time he had to report to the President of Indonesia in Jakarta.

“I also regret not being able to bring my office staff because I was just appointed as a governor for the second period a few days ago,” he added.

Regarding the demand of beef supply in PON (National Sports Event) 2020, Governor Saonu has a positive response.  “We are ready to supply meat for PON 2020. We have the largest cattle farm in PNG as well as the chicken farm. This cooperation will benefit the two provinces,” said Governor Saonu.(*)

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Latvian climber evacuated from Cartenz Peak

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Illustration of Cartenz Peak in Papua – feedyeti.com

Timika, Jubi – A Latvian, Northern European climber, Mike Cruss, suffered a broken foot and was hypothermic while climbing Cartesz Peak on Thursday (January 18th).

Public Relation Officer of Timika SAR Team, Muhammad, said after receiving the report they immediately coordinated with PT Freeport Indonesia’s Emergency Response Group to carry out the relief effort.

“We also coordinate with Timika Airforce based, the travel agent of the climbers and the Timika Community Partners Hospital,” said Muhammad, Friday (January 19), in Timika.

On Friday morning SAR rescue team went to Cartensz Peak using helicopter owned by Papua Trans Mandiri company.

The helicopter returned to Timika Airport hangar on Friday morning at around 8:30 pm with Mike Cruss.

The victim was immediately rushed to RSMM Timika by ambulance to undergo treatment.

The information collected said that Mike Cruss made the climb to Cartensz Peak with eight other climbers.

Cruss and his friends were reportedly walking from Ilaga to Cartesz Peak, one of the world’s seven highest peaks, with a height of 4,884 meters above sea level on Thursday morning.

The streets are rocky and slippery with rain and cold temperatures, leaving the victim falling and having a right leg fracture and hypothermia.

“Victims are still undergoing medical treatment at the Emergency Installation of RSMM Timika,” said RSMM Public Relations Elfinus Omaleng. (Antara)

 

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Human Rights violations in West Papua observed by Christian Conference of Asia

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Members of CCA delegation with Gereja Kristen Injili di Tanah Papua (GKI) leadership – Supplied

Jayapura, Jubi – A three-member pastoral solidarity team of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), visited West Papua, heard stories of grave human rights violations and repression against the indigenous West Papuans in their own home land.

The visit, organised by the CCA from 4 to 8 December 2017, was part of its pastoral accompaniment to churches and people who live in vulnerable situations in Asia.

During four days of intensive visits and meetings, indigenous West Papuans shared with the CCA delegation about the on-going repression and systematic human rights violations in West Papua, including the passing of laws that suppress freedom of speech and freedom of association.

“Impunity for the human rights abuses by the police and the military is a growing concern; the Special Autonomy Law is a dismal failure, as it did not meet the basic needs of the indigenous people of West Papua”, described the community leaders and civil society representatives.

“The Indonesian government systematically restricts the right to freedom of the press as well as the initiatives of West Papuans who come forward to monitor human rights violations. Many indigenous West Papuans are being arrested and detained for non-violent expressions of their political opinion. The indigenous West Papuans constantly face discrimination as well as violent attacks. Peaceful demonstrations are often dispersed by force. In many instances, non-violent participants have been arrested, detained and tortured, while others have been killed. Many prisoners and human rights activists have died while in detention. Reports of torture and ill treatment of political detainees have been increasing. Civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are being violated”.

“CCA’s visit to West Papua was an opportunity to express solidarity with the struggling West Papuan indigenous people and listening to their grievances on behalf of CCA’s member constituencies and the Asian ecumenical movement”, said Bishop Dr. Daniel S. Thiagarajah from Sri Lanka, a member of CCA’s programme committee.

“A long-delayed pastoral solidarity visit to Papua was an expression of Asian churches and the CCA’s commitment to the CCA’s member church Gereja Kristen Injili di Tanah Papua (GKI), and the people of West Papua,” said Rev. Cindy Huang Shin-Yi, a young pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan and a member of CCA’s Executive Committee.

The visit of the CCA delegation included meetings with members of the Papuan Parliament, the Office of the Governor of Papua, interactions with the faculty members and students of the Izaak Samuel Kijne Theological College, GKI Jayapura Presbytery, the GKI Synod Board and staff members as well as meetings with leaders of different churches and communities in Sentani.

West Papua is a land rich in gold, copper, tropical rain forest, and coral reef. However, the majority indigenous Papuans continue to suffer as their ancestral lands have been confiscated; natural resources have been exploited by non-Papuans settled through government’s transmigration policies over the years. About 80% of the indigenous Papuans, the original sons and daughters of the land, now live in poverty without access to medical care, safe drinking water or education. They are constantly under attack by security forces.

The delegation was informed that, many indigenous West Papuans and others are infected with HIV/AIDS. The delegation visited the Walihole HIV/AIDS Clinic and the GKI Women’s Center. The church responds to the epidemic by setting up an HIV/AIDS clinic that serves the people in need of care. The church plays an active role in empowering the indigenous West Papuan women.

During the meetings, the CCA delegation was told by West Papuan community leaders that international community should come forward to implore the Indonesian government to stop human rights abuses in West Papua and to respect and protect the human dignity of West Papuans; to support the appeal of West Papuans to the government of Indonesia to open the door in order to seek a just and dignified political solution and respect the right and dignity of the indigenous people of West Papua to determine their own future through an all-inclusive Papua-Indonesia national dialogue.

“Having seen and heard the stories of the dire oppression of the indigenous people in West Papua, the CCA delegation learned first-hand about the pains of the suffering indigenous West Papuan people, and we share their pain and agony”, said Dr. Rey Ty, CCA programme coordinator for Building Peace and Moving Beyond Conflict. (*)

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