23 Apr 2003

West Papuan representatives seek observer status at Forum leaders meeting

11:08 am on 23 April 2003

The Indonesian Human Rights Committee is calling on the New Zealand Government to confirm that the issue of West Papua will be on the agenda at the Pacific Islands Forum leaders summit in Auckland in August.

The spokesperson for the New Zealand based Committee, Maire Leadbetter has written to Foreign Minister Phil Goff asking that the West Papuan representative be granted observer status.

She says New Zealand has expressed support for dialogue between West Papuan representatives and Jakarta, and this process would be helped if they could take a greater part in the Forum meeting.

"They want their future to beseen as being part of the Pacific. They believe that they were being prepared to be part of the Pacific when their decolonisation process was broken off in the 60s, and that is where they should be getting their support now."