21 Jun 2013

MSG leaders approve West Papua roadmap

7:03 pm on 21 June 2013

Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders say that to progress the application for membership in the group by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, it is important to continually engage with Indonesia.

At the conclusion of the 19th MSG leaders summit in Noumea, the leaders resolved to pursue increased dialogue with Jakarta over the West Papua issue.

Johnny Blades reports from Noumea:

"MSG leaders officially addressed the sensitive issue of human rights violations in West Papua for the first time at this summit. While they have deferred a decision on the West Papuan membership bid, they have approved a roadmap on which the application can be considered at a later point. The key to this roadmap is raising the MSG's concerns with Jakarta over violations and atrocities in West Papua. The MSG has agreed to send a Fiji-led Foreign Ministers delegation to Indonesia this year to discuss West Papua, and then after a subsequent report is presented to Leaders, the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation will be officially informed of the MSG decision regarding the application."