Australia West Papua Association (AWPA)
AWPA has written to the Pacific Islands Forum leaders urging them to discuss the human rights situation in West Papua at their summit in Auckland in September (letter below).West Papua and Pacific Islands Forum:
AWPA has written to the Pacific Islands Forum leaders urging them to discuss the human rights situation in West Papua at their summit in Auckland in September.
This year is the 40th anniversary of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the time is now right to bring the Melanesian people of West Papua back into the Pacific community. (A West Papuan representative attended the first SPC Conference, and West Papuans continued to participate in the SPC meetings up until the Dutch ceded their authority to the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) in 1962.)
AWPA urges the PIF Leaders to have the issue of West Papua on its agenda at its September summit and to not only discuss the deteriorating human rights situation in West Papua but to make a public statement of concern regarding the human rights situation in the territory. We also urge the PIF to raise concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesian President.
AWPA calls on the PIF leaders to grant observer status to genuine representatives of the West Papuan people who are struggling for their right to self determination at the 42nd Meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum to be held in Auckland in September 2011.
A number of governments have supported the autonomy package for West Papua stating that it is the best way forward for the West Papuan people. Although funding for the autonomy package has flowed to West Papua it has only benefited some elites and the bureaucrats with no benefit for the majority of West Papuans, which is why it has been rejected. We believe that it is pointless for governments to keep saying the autonomy package is the best way forward. Even a revised Special Autonomy in whatever form it might take will never satisfy West Papuans demand for self determination. West Papuans have lost trust that Jakarta will ever develop West Papua for the sake of the Papuans. The Forum can help by urging Jakarta to dialogue with the Independence Movement to find a lasing solution.
We also call on the Forum leaders to urge the Indonesian President to release all West Papuan political prisoners as a sign of good faith to the West Papuan people and urge the Forum to send a fact finding mission to West Papua to investigate the human rights situation in the territory.