11 Aug 2003

West Papuan activists to push for observer status at Forum meeting

4:35 pm on 11 August 2003

Papuan activists are planning to push for observer status during the meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland this week.

An international solidarity meeting for West Papua held in Auckland over the weekend resolved to focus on obtaining the status, as the activists continue their struggle for self-determination in the Indonesian province.

The director of the institute for human rights study and advocacy in West Papua, John Rumbiak, says it's the responsibility of the Forum leaders to look into the issue.

"I want to appeal to the Pacific Islands Forum leaders that the West Papuan issue is a survival issue. The only way that they can get West Papua to be taken care of and leaders in this Pacific Islands Forum can voice this out to the other international bodies, especially the United Nations, is that they have to grant West Papua representative status of observer within the Pacific Islands Forum"

John Rumbiak.