The United Liberation Movement for West Papua has expressed gratitude for progress made but still intends pursuing full membership of the Melanesia Spearhead Group.
The Pacific sub-regional agency held its summit this week in Solomon Islands and granted observer status to the ULMWP and made Indonesia an associate member.
It also placed a qualification on the ULM saying it was there to represent Melanesians from outside, amid continued claims it does not represent the people of Papua and West Papua.
But the organisation is taking a positive view, and as one of the ULM leaders' Benny Wenda, says they appreciate the recognition at last.
"You know 53 years we, our voice never recognised and in the regional and international fora so this is why this is the first step for West Papua to become an observer in the Melanesian Spearhead Group."
Benny Wenda says the ULMWP will still seek full membership.