Vanuatu's new foreign minister says the government will continue to fight for the rights of West Papuans in international fora.
Kalfau Moli was appointed last week after the prime minister Joe Natuman sacked Sato Kilman from the foreign minister's role.
Mr Kilman had been accused of misrepresenting Vanuatu's long-running support for West Papuan rights in his dealings with Indonesia.
With a Melanesian Spearhead Group decision on a West Papuan membership bid looming, Mr Moli says Vanuatu's support remains strong.
"Vanuatu's position as a sovereign state is that we want to address the human rights issue and then consider the supposed political independence. However having said that, it is very important that a clear forum be put in place before we can look at the issues. but I am very much for a human rights drive."
Mr Moli suggests Vanuatu's good relationship with Indonesia can be instrumental in leveraging positive change in Papua.