25 May 2006

Papuan leader appeals for UN recognition to self-determination

3:53 pm on 25 May 2006

The leader of the Koteka Tribal Assembly of West Papua, Benny Wenda, says the UN should do the proper thing by recognising Papuans right to self determination.

A statement by Mr Wenda was presented during the current session of the UN's Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues as he couldn't get to New York because of visa complications.

He says the forum should ask the UN to carry out a review of the so-called 1969 Act of Free Choice, hold a genuine referendum on the right to self determination, and place Papua on the decolonisation list.

Mr Wenda says if the UN believes it is a organisation that protects choice and rights then it should behave like one in the case of Papua.

"We are like victimised by international law that we didn't get an opportunity or right to self-determination and we know that UN itself broke its own rule."