World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Book Reveals UN Colluded In West Papua Takeover

* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links:
http://www.pmw.c2o.org

* Post a comment on PMW's Right of Reply:
http://www.TheGuestBook.com/egbook/257949.gbook

BOOK REVEALS UN COLLUDED IN WEST PAPUA TAKEOVER

by Joe Humphreys

DUBLIN (The Irish Times/Pacific Media Watch): Evidence of United Nations collusion in the violent takeover of West Papua by Indonesia 40 years ago is revealed in a new book on the subject, which was launched in Dublin this week.

The book*, which draws upon recently declassified UN, British and Australian documents, claims the UN Secretariat deliberately "washed its hands" of the Papua issue by minimising criticism of the 1969 Act of Free Choice, under which 1022 natives, hand-picked by the Indonesian government voted against independence.

As part of this "campaign", senior UN officials "deliberately misrepresented the extent of Papuan hostility to Indonesian: rule," according to the book's author, Dr John Saltford.

He says the UN Secretariat also misled UN member-states by claiming the early withdrawal of peacekeeping troops from West Papua in May 1963 was in accordance with "the wishes of the people".

Speaking to The Irish Times, Dr Saltford, who works as a South-east Asian specialist in the UK Public Record Office, said he had never heard of West Papua until he began research for a PhD thesis.

"The more I looked into it the more I was amazed," he said.

"The Papuans had a great deal of trust in the UN, and the UN betrayed them, and it continues to betray them because, so far, it has refused to review its position on the issue."

Up to 30,000 West Papuans were killed in the Indonesian take-over that followed the UN's withdrawal from the territory. A further 70,000 died violently under Indonesian occupation in a conflict which mirrors that of East Timor prior to its recent liberation.

Dr Saltford cites evidence to suggest the UN-sponsored New York Agreement, signed in August 1962 between Indonesia and West Papua's former colonisers, the Netherlands, was a fraud. The three parties pledged to protect the political rights and freedoms of the Papuans but they failed and deliberately so, he says, "because genuine Papuan self-determination was never considered as a serious option by any of them".

When the process became exposed following the shambolic 1969 vote, the UN Secretariat focused its attention “on collaborating with Jakarta in its mission to prevent any international criticism of the Act emerging," Dr Saltford states.

In this regard, he cites a report from the British Embassy in Jakarta, in September 1969, advising that avoiding raising "any awkward questions, would help to gain us Indonesian support over Ireland." Dr Saltford said Australia, as a close ally of Indonesia, remained a major stumbling block on the issue.

"However, there are movements towards a resolution, and I hope this book would make a contribution to that. I know some senior UN officials are aware of the book and are due to study it as it’s the first time some of this information has been made public.

"It really was a betrayal," he added. "I think the UN needs to address that if it wants to keep its status, and I say that as a supporter of the UN."

* The United Nations and the Indonesian Takeover of West Papua, 1962-1969: The Anatomy of Betrayal, by Dr John Saltford and published by, Routledge Curzon was launched on 19 November 2002 at a function hosted by West Papua Action and the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College, Dublin.

+++niuswire

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE http://www.pmw.c2o.org

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

(c)1996-2002 Copyright - All rights reserved.

Items are provided solely for review purposes as a non-profit educational service. Copyright remains the property of the original producers as indicated. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright owner for any publishing. Copyright owners not wishing their materials to be posted by PMW please contact us. The views expressed in material listed by PMW are not necessarily the views of PMW or its members.

Recipients should rely on their own inquiries before making decisions based on material listed in PMW. Please copy appeals to PMW and acknowledge source.

For further information, inquiries about joining the Pacific Media Watch

listserve, articles for publication, and giving feedback contact Pacific

Media Watch at: E-mail: delaro@clear.net.nz pcronau@hotmail.com Fax: (+679) 30 5779 or (+612) 9660 1804 Mail: PO Box 9, Annandale, NSW 2038, Australia or, PO Box 78028, Auckland 1002, New Zealand. New website: www.pmw.c2o.org


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

ITUC: Nobel Prize In Economics Explodes Minimum Wage And Jobs Myth

The prize was awarded to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens for real-world research in the 1990s that demonstrated, empirically, that the idea touted by conservative economists that higher minimum wages mean fewer jobs is not based on fact... More>>

Science Media Centre: New South Wales Opens Up For Fully-vaccinated – Aus SMC Expert Reaction
Sydney has partially eased Covid-19 restrictions for fully-vaccinated individuals after NSW reached its target of 70 per cent of the population double-dosed. The Australian Science Media Centre has asked experts about the possible risks of the country opening up again...More>>


Nobel Peace Prize: Journalists Who ‘Speak Truth To Power’ Recognized

Two campaigning journalists were awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, which UN Secretary-General António Guterres said was recognition that a free press is “essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights – and the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions”...
More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>


COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>


UN: Global Leaders Set To Act To Increase Energy Access While Reducing Emissions At First UN Energy Summit In 40 Years

Significant new commitments for financing clean energy, increasing renewables and improving access to electricity are expected to be announced on 24 September at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy... More>>