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Statement Regarding the MSG Decision On West Papua

Statement Regarding the MSG Decision On West Papua

The many years of lobby by the Independence movement the OPM, a job now carried on by West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) has entered a new chapter in its international efforts. Due to consistent pressure by Vanuatu and many other leaders including civil society organisations in the Pacific especially in Melanesia finally the leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) made a decision on West Papua during its 19th Summit held in Noumea, Kanaky/New Caledonia. In its’ resolution announced in the plenary session on 21st June the leaders MSG made two important decisions on West Papua,

1. [1].  MSG fully supports the inalienable rights of the people of West Papua towards self- determination as provided for under the preamble of the MSG constitution;

2. [2].  MSG stated its concerns about human rights violations and other forms of atrocities relating to the West Papuan people. It encouraged members to raise these concerns through their bilateral relations with Indonesia.

The new Chairman, Excellency Victor Tutugoro of the FLNKS invited WPNCL to attend the opening and also address the plenary session held at the Head Quarters of the former South Pacific Commission now South Pacific Community. Speaking in this very venue is historic in itself because a Papuan leader, the Late Markus Kaisiepo attended the first meeting of the SPC 63 years ago. West Papua was a founding member of the SPC.

The MSG decision on the application by WPNCL for membership was retained awaiting a visit to Indonesia by the MSG Foreign Ministers to fulfil Jakarta’s invitation. Politically it is an admission by Indonesia that the West Papuan issue is no longer an internal matter for Indonesia as some would like the world to belief. It is obvious; Indonesia took note of the UN credentials to MSG members for successfully sponsoring decolonization issues for example Vanuatu, East Timor, Kanaky and now Ma’ohi nui/French Poynesia. For that impressive record Indonesia would like to be in good rapport with MSG because it already sensed what will come next. For WPNCL whether visit or no visit the writing is already on the wall. Indonesia has to comply with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) and Resolution 1541 (XV).

This is a major achievement for WPNCL and West Papua. In this regard the leadership of WPNCL on behalf of the people of West Papua would like to take this opportunity to issue the following acknowledgements:

Firstly, we would like to thank the people of Vanuatu for their unwavering support for our cause. They have stood by us since independence and maintained the wish of the Late Walter Hyde Lini one of the founding fathers of MSG that “Vanuatu is not really free until all the other Melanesian brothers are free from Colonialism." We salute the current government especially Rt. Hon. Moana Carcases Kalosil, the Prime Minister and Hon. Eduard Nipake Natapei, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister for their determination to make sure that a decision on West Papua must not be delayed. The powerful and passionate speech on the issue by Prime Minister Moana on behalf of Vanuatu will go down in history.

Secondly, in humble appreciation we fully acknowledge the inspiring speech by the Rt. Hon. Gordon D. Lilo, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands. He once told the visiting WPNCL delegation in his office that “the West Papuan case is an incomplete decolonization issue, it has been going on for too long; it must be resolved now.” Hon. Lilo have spoken with confidence after his government has successfully sponsored the re-inscription of Ma’ohi Nui/French Polynesia on the UN Decolonization list of Non self-governing Territories in March this year.

Thirdly, WPNCL appreciates the understanding reach by the leaders of the MSG for this historic decision. We very much value the role of Commodore Vorenqe Banimarama the outgoing Chairman for his leadership that have seen major improvements that make it possible for the MSG to be united as ever in reaching decisions. In receiving the Chairmanship from the outgoing Chairman, Excellency Victor Tutugoro among the other major priorities reiterated the need to resolve the West Papuan issue during his 2 years term of office.

Fourthly, WPNCL would like to acknowledge the work done by the Eminent Group in unison with the lawyers to chart a roadmap for the MSG. Their Melanesian wisdom that is evident in their recommendations is truly outstanding. They would be remembered by us all and future generations for their invaluable contribution.

Lastly, WPNCL delegation would like to thank Mr. Peter Forau and his staff from the MSG Secretariat for the excellent work in facilitating the process for this major decision. You are making history in the MSG’s role as a vibrant, credible and future looking regional institution. Seeing the still changing political environment and the role played by individuals that contributed to these changes that shape the history of Melanesia one is reminded of the words of one of the great leaders of Melanesia, the Late Solomon Mamaloni. Addressing visiting OPM leaders in 1995 Mamaloni said, “Your struggle is our struggle, if our generation does not do anything about it, forever we would be condemned by the future generations.”

The inclusion of West Papua in the MSG proved beyond doubt the unity of Melanesia as the founding fathers had intended it to be. Let us all of work together to maintain this unity for the sake of the future generations.

Finally, the organization would like to thank the delegation, Dr. John Ondawame (Vice Chairman and Leader of the delegation of WPNCL), Mr. Rex Rumakiek (Secretary General of WPNCL), Mr. Andy Aymiseba (Head of Vanuatu Mission of WPNCL), Ms. Paula Makabory (Head of Human Rights Desk of WPNCL) and Mr. Barak Sope (Former Prime Minister of Vanuatu and Advisor to WPNCL). 

The organization would also like to thank the Seventy Five (75) organizations in West Papua that have sent letters to MSG secretariat to support the Application of West Papua National Coalition for Liberation for a Full Membership.

Issued by the Secretariat of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation in Port Vila, Republic of Vanuatu on 25 June 2013.


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