PM urged to honour his obligation to West Papua

THE Solomon Islands in Solidarity for West Papua group has reminded the Prime Minister of his obligations as the leader of one of the Melanesian nations, to ensure he supports any bid for the full membership of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

This call comes ahead of the MSG Summit and the Pacific Island Forum which are expected to be held later this year.

The group says it sees it important that the plight of the Melanesian people of West Papua is not watered down because of economic and political pressure from Indonesia.

“The PM is ought to be reminded that while we continue to enjoy these benefits from Indonesia, the human rights of the people whom Jakarta is obligated to respect, protect and fulfil to this day are yet to be adequately met,” the group said in a statement.

“Solomon Islands has a moral responsibility to stand together with fellow Melanesian brothers and sisters in upholding Melanesian integrity and to remind Indonesia of its obligations to the Spearhead Group and its commitments to the six major international human rights treaties it has ratified,” it added.

“Although the group recognizes the numerous challenges our region is facing, notably the pandemic, the group is appealing to the leaders of the region and its inhabitants to not lose focus of the mission to support the plight of the of the people of West Papua.”

The group further stressed that both the Melanesian Spearhead Group and Pacific Islands Forum, have adopted very important humanitarian agenda, so must the nation of Solomon Islands.  

Melanesian leaders are also ought to be reminded on the fundaments in which the Melanesian Spearhead Group was established, and the Prime Minister must remind his counterparts when MSG meets.

The group also expressed strong support behind the PIF decision in 2019, for Indonesia to welcome the invitation of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and their strong encouragement towards finalizing the timing of the visit and for an evidence-based, informed report on the situation in West Papua.

The group also stated that as an associate member of MSG, Indonesia must respect the call by the body and uphold all its principles, which of course entreats for all parties to protect and uphold the human rights of all residents and to work to address the root causes of the conflict by peaceful means.

“We are confident that the PM will act on this call because it was through his leadership during the 2015 MSG summit in Honiara, when he was also PM that the West Papuan representative body, was awarded its observer status in MSG,” said the Solomon Islands in Solidarity group for West Papua.

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