Vanuatu represented at International Parliamentarians for West Papua meeting in London

L to R: Benny Wenda, Foreign Minister Bruno Leingkone, Tongan PM ‘Akilisi Pohiva and Minister for Lands, Ralph Regenvanu, at the International Parliamentarians for West Papua meeting at Houses of Parliament, London, UK yesterday. Photo: David Mirzoeff/Free West Papua Campaign

L to R: Benny Wenda, Foreign Minister Bruno Leingkone, Tongan PM ‘Akilisi Pohiva and Minister for Lands, Ralph Regenvanu, at the International Parliamentarians for West Papua meeting at Houses of Parliament, London, UK, yesterday. Photo: David Mirzoeff/Free West Papua Campaign

Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare has confirmed that the MSG Leaders’ Meeting, which was to have taken place this week, has been postponed. This was said to be because “there are important issues which have to be considered first of all, before the Leaders’ Meeting takes place.” This meeting will need to formalise the appointment of the New Director General of the MSG and consider the application of the West Papuan United Liberation Movement to become a full member of the MSG, Radio Vanuatu reported Sogavare saying this morning. He confirmed that the Solomon Islands has sent its representative to the International Parliamentarians for West Papua, which has been meeting in London. This meeting is also being attended by Vanuatu’s Minister Ralph Regenvanu and Foreign Minister Bruno Leingkone, along with the Prime Minister of Tonga, ‘Akilisi Pohiva and the UK’s Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn. The outcomes from this meeting, Sogavare said, will need to be considered by the next MSG Leaders’ Meeting.

Here’s the full text of the outcome document of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua meeting, the Westminster Declaration for an Internationally Supervised Vote in West Papua:

We the undersigned Members of Parliament, being members of the International Parliamentarians For West Papua:

  • I. Declare that continued human rights violations in West Papua are unacceptable.
  • II. Warn that without international action the West Papuan people risk extinction.
  • III. Reiterate the right of the people of West Papua to genuine self-determination.
  • IV. Declare the 1969 ‘Act of Free Choice’ to be a gross violation of this principle.
  • V. Call for an internationally supervised vote on self-determination in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolutions 1514 and 1541 (XV).

Palace of Westminster, the 3rd of May, 2016

Daily Post today has the Executive Officer of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission in Brisbane handing over a report which documents “constant killings and human rights abuses of the West Papuans despite assurances from the Indonesian Government that such atrocities have stopped.” Peter Urns of the Commission handed over the report document in Port Vila at the Presbyterian Church yesterday where the civil society forum on West Papua is taking place. Peter Urns is the leader of an Australian co-ordination team of the West Papuan solidarity movement.

The Vanuatu Prime Minister’s support for the Freedom of Information Bill is also spelled out in today’s Daily Post. He made this clear at yesterday’s commemoration of World Press Freedom Day. The Bill has spent some time being refined as it has been managed by three different governments. The draft bill is being finalised by the State Law Office and may well come before Parliament in June. The PM sees the Act of Parliament as helping the government to better perform its role and assisting people to be better informed of government decisions.


One Comment on “Vanuatu represented at International Parliamentarians for West Papua meeting in London”

  1. alton foreman says:

    Continue the fight for West Papuan freedom.

    Like