07 September 2016

Tuvalu, Nauru join growing group for West Papua

Two more countries have joined the Pacific Coalition on West Papua, voicing their concerns over human rights abuses in the Indonesian province and asking that the United Nations intervene.

The group was set up by the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, in response to the Melanesian Spearhead Group's inclusion of Indonesia as an observer and not granting West Papua membership of the group.\

A number of Pacific heads of government have raised their concerns over West Papua at the United Nations, with the Tongan PM, 'Akilisi Pohiva last year asking the UN to intervene.

At a meeting in Honolulu last week, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, and Nauru's ambassador to the Pacific nations, Marlene Moses joined the group.

Others who have already joined are Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia's FLNKS, and the United Liberation Movement of West Papua and the Pacific Islands Alliance of Non-Governmental Organisations, or PANGO.

In August, the MSG leaders deferred a decision on West Papua's membership bid after Fiji and PNG continued to oppose its application.