Vanuatu Daily News Digest | Forum Secretariat prioritizes West Papua

From the United Liberation Movement for West Papua yesterday …

ULMWP welcomes recommendation to make West Papua top regional Forum leaders agenda

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) has today welcomed the recommendation set by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s Special Sub-Committee on Regionalism (SSCR) and the Forum Officials Committee for West Papua to be one of the top priority issues of the regional agenda.

ULMWP Secretary General, Octovianus Mote, attributed the increasing awareness on the state of West Papua to growing ground swell of people solidarity movements in the Pacific, reflected by the media coverage of the issue, and the three submissions from various solidarity groups around the region advocating the peaceful resolution of the struggles of the people of West Papua.

“The Forum Officials Committee which considered the issue of West Papua yesterday we understand has taken a decision to endorse West Papua as one of the five top regional issues that will be considered by forum leaders next month in PNG during the leaders’ summit,” said Mote.

“In the words of the current Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor, the forum has a history and regional role in assisting territories achieve self-determination, and we are certain our leaders will act on our plea to address the growing human rights abuse in West Papua by establishing a fact finding mission, and supporting the call by Vanuatu for the UN to appoint a special envoy to West Papua,” added Mote.

Mr Mote also welcomed the decision by the Solomon Islands Government to appoint a Special Envoy on West Papua and seek West Papua’s admission to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

“On behalf of the ULMWP, I extend our deepest gratitude to the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, and the solidarity movement in the Solomon Islands…I would also like to thank other solidarity movement partners in the Pacific for their continued support for standing up for the people of West Papua.”

He said he is confident in Prime Minister Sogavare as the current chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, and that under his leadership, he will steer a peaceful path for West Papua. ULMWP respectfully urges Pacific Island leaders to join with PM Sogavare to steer a peaceful path for West Papua.