West Papua (Papua)

“Leaders recognised the political sensitivities of the issue of West Papua (Papua) and agreed the issue of alleged human rights violations in West Papua (Papua) should remain on their agenda. Leaders also agreed on the importance of an open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia on the issue.” – 2016 Pacific Islands Forum Communique.

West Papua was first put on Forum Leaders’ agenda in 2000 when they “expressed deep concern about past and recent violence and loss of life…and called on the Indonesian Government, the sovereign authority, and secessionist groups to resolve their differences peacefully through dialogue and consultation.”

West Papua was subsequently raised by Leaders in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2015.

At their 2015 meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, “Leaders recognised the political sensitivities of the issue of West Papua (Papua) and agreed the issue of alleged human rights violations in West Papua (Papua) should remain on their agenda. Leaders also agreed on the importance of an open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia on the issue.”

Through the regional public consultation process under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, concerns regarding alleged human rights abuses in West Papua were raised once again by over 40 Pacific Non–Government Organisations and individuals in 2015.

Forum Leaders considered all available information at 2015 meeting and “… noted concerns about the human rights situation, calling on all parties to protect and uphold the human rights of all residents in Papua. Leaders requested the Forum Chair to convey the views of the Forum to the Indonesian Government, and to consult on a fact finding mission to discuss the situation in Papua with the parties involved.”

In January 2016 Prime Minister Peter O’Neill of Papua New Guinea, as Forum Chair, announced that he had written to H.E Mr Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia conveying Forum Leaders views on the alleged human rights violations and expressed the desire of the Forum to consult with Indonesia on a fact finding mission to discuss the situation in West Papua with the parties involved.

Later in 2016 the issue was again discussed at the Forum Leaders meeting in the Federated States of Micronesia where, “Leaders recognised the political sensitivities of the issue of West Papua (Papua) and agreed the issue of alleged human rights violations in West Papua (Papua) should remain on their agenda. Leaders also agreed on the importance of an open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia on the issue.”

In their 2017 meeting in Samoa, Forum Leaders “recognised the constructive engagement by Forum countries with Indonesia with respect to elections and human rights in West Papua and Papua and to continue dialogue in an open and constructive manner.”

Open dialogue with the Government of Indonesia has led to the Forum being invited to take part in the Election Visit Programme and observe the 2017 Indonesian provincial elections. The Forum team comprised  Mr Sambue Antas, Acting Director-General for Vanuatu’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, and Ms Fetogi Vaai of the Samoan Electoral Commission, with support from the Forum Secretariat. The team observed electoral activity in Jayapura and Manokwari in the provinces of Papua and West Papua whose report can be found here.

In December 2017 the Government of Indonesia invited the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to attend the 10th Bali Democracy Forum where a statement was delivered at the plenary session.

08/10/2017

West Papua (Papua)

11/08/2016

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