Free West Papua group welcomes Vanuatu's UN statement
The Vanuatu Free West Papua Association has welcomed the Prime Minister's speech at the United Nations Assembly, where he highlighted the plight of West Papuans.
The Vanuatu Free West Papua Association has welcomed the Prime Minister's speech at the United Nations Assembly, where he said West Papuans have been denied any recognition by the UN for 50 years.
Moana Carcasses used his address at the General Assembly to urge the UN to appoint a special representative to probe alleged human rights abuses in Indonesia's Papua region.
The Association's chairman, Pastor Alan Nafuki, told Hilaire Bule it's important the issue is raised at the highest level.
ALAN NAFUKI: I'm really proud that that statement has been made in the highest-level body in the world, and it is our intention and our prayers and our dream all the time that we want to see the United Nations and other affiliated bodies having the same concerns should come in and assist our situation in West Papua.
HILAIRE BULE: Do you think that Mr Carcasses' speech will make a difference?
AN: I think the more... Previously our former prime minister Barak Sope also mentioned about West Papua at the United Nations, then just after we have Carcasses. I think the message is going through, is carried out by member countries, and they are aware of the present situation. And I think it's becoming more effective now. It's creating more awareness and people are getting more aware of the situation than before. And I think this will help other countries to rethink and to reach out their attention to West Papua. When the focal point of discussion was being made in Noumea in New Caledonia through the MSG, they should have done something at the time. But when they postponed it and appointed a diplomatic mission to visit Indonesia I said that was the end of it. But now that things are coming up now, I'm thinking already of organising a meeting next week here to put a date for the government to have this commission visiting Indonesia, which will be headed by the Fijian delegation and Papua New Guinea, and I think these two are the main powers of the Pacific to lead us to visit the people of West Papua to hear the people themselves telling us about their situation, not to visit the Indonesian government alone - I would not agree with that.
HB: Now, currently, Australia is visiting Indonesia, and we expected the foreign minister, especially [after] the MSG, to visit West Papua and also Indonesia. What is your message to those leaders?
AN: I would like maybe the Australian government, the new government to have a different mandate regarding West Papua. But to my own observation, the Australian government will have an agenda regarding West Papua or regarding the immigration problem that they're facing now with the Indonesian government. People are coming to reside in Australia, immigrants that have been travelling all the time to Australia to settle there. The problem now is they have to really focus on the main issue - how the Indonesian government has been treating the West Papuans for the last decade or so, and I think they're just hiding behind the scenes. But I would like the Australian government to come up front and say right away to the Indonesian government that we want a deal to be agreed upon between the two countries regarding the situation of West Papuan people.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: