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MSG and West Papua

MSG and West Papua

It was disappointing that the issue of membership for West Papua at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) was deferred. However, a number of decisions by the leaders of the MSG are to be welcomed.

Joe Collins of AWPA said "the Fact that the issue of the right to self-determination for the people of West Papua was recognised by the representative regional body of the Melanesian Peoples is very significant as is the fact that the MSG leaders acknowledged that there are ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua”.

It is encouraging that the MSG will go on a fact-finding mission to West Papua. Undoubtedly the MSG leaders are only too well aware that such missions may be controlled or manipulated as to where, when and whom they are permitted to see by the authorities. It is to be hoped the MSG mission will be accompanied by journalists as a way of showing the openness of the process.


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