05 February 2010

Beloved Papuan Activist Joins the Ancestors

Human Rights activist-dies-at-age-61

By Cindy Trinh
Impunity Watch Reporter
Oceania MANOKWARI, West Papua

Papuan human rights activist, Viktor Kaisiepo, passed away in his home town of Amersfoort, in the Netherlands, at the age of 61.

Kaisiepo was a spokesperson for the West Papua People's Front, which is a federation of Papuan organizations in the Netherlands. Kaisiepo was born in Dutch New Guinea. His family left for the Netherlands when Dutch New Guinea was handed over to Indonesia in 1962. Kaisiepo's father was a well-known activist for Papuan independence. Viktor Kaisiepo followed his father's footsteps, and also became one of the most well regarded activists for Papuan independence.

Kaisiepo frequently lobbied the United Nations to promote the rights of his people as well as the rights of other indigenous peoples. He devoted his life to the right to self-determination of the Indonesian province of Papua. Kaisiepo became a familiar face to the indigenous activists throughout theworld, representing the indigenous peoples of Papua at various international conferences. He was the Executive Director of the Foundation Papua Lobby, and a member of Presidium Dewan Papua and represented the organization in Europe, the United States, and at the United Nations.

Since 2003, he served as a consultant to the Word Bank Grants Facility for Indigenous Peoples. He also co-founded and held positions in various NGOs, including: the Unrepresented Nations and People's Organization (UNPO), an international organizations with 110 millions members whose aim is to achieve recognition and improvement for peoples through peaceful means; the InternationalAlliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in the Tropical Forests; the secretariat of Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP); and served as a Human Rights Defender in 1985 for the United Nations.

Kaisiepo will be remembered as one of the most influential human rights activists.

Statement of Unrepresented Peoples' Organisation (UNPO)
on the passing of Victor Kaisiepo
On hearing of the demise of Mr. Victor Kaisiepo, the UNPO responded with great sadness. Mr. Kaisiepo was one of the founding members of the UNPO in 1991 at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands and acted as the Assistant General Secretary for the Environment in the early 1990’s. Afterwards, he remained a highly regarded member of the UNPO Steering Committee for many years as well as a compassionate speaker at various UNPO events.
Hereby the UNPO offers its sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Kaisiepo and wants to assure them of the highest respect for him and his work.
While born in West Papua, his family left for the Netherlands when the territory was handed over to Indonesia in 1962, and Mr. Kaisiepo lived in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, until his death.

Victor Kaisiepo’s passing has left the West Papuan community in the Netherlands and in West Papua in mourning, as he was a renowned Papuan activist and spokesperson. He also functioned as European Representative of the Papuan Council of the Papuan Presidium (PDP) as well as International Representative of the Dewan Adat Papua (DAP), the Indigenous Papua Council. He partook in the international Papua Lobby, seeking to generate support for genuine dialogue between the Papuans and the government in Jakarta. Moreover, Mr Kaisiepo has lobbied at the United Nations to promote the rights of his people as well as the rights of other indigenous peoples.

Mr. Busdachin, current UNPO General Secretary, on behalf of all 54 members of UNPO pays his respects to this remarkable spokesperson and activist within the West Papuan community, as being one of the founding fathers of UNPO.