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West Papua - The UN's Dream Project 60 Years On

In the PNG Parliament NCD Governor Powes Parkop asked a series of questions during Question Time on West Papua.

Wednesday 1 December 2020.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. 


On this day Thursday December 1st 1961 West Papua declared independence and raised its national flag the Morning Mtar. They had a Legislative and an executive government, a standing army and all the national symbols of a nation state. 

They had their National anthem Hai Tanaku Papua ( oh my land Papua). Their territorial boundaries were precise and demarcated. Then in January 1962 the Indonesian invaded and the rest is history. 

Since then we (PNG) have adopted a policy that is shameful and is totally unethical to say the least. 

Hiding under a policy of friends to all and enemy to none might be ok for rest of the world but it is a total capitulation to Indonesia aggression and illegal occupation.

 It is more a policy of seeing no evil, speaking no evil and to say no evil against the evils of Indonesia. So much has happened since which should be bothering on our conscience. How do we sleep at night when our own people on the other side are subjected to so much violence, racism, deaths and destructions? 

How can we call ourselves Christians when fellow Christians are being subjected to so much abuses on their own land?

 How can we hold ourselves high as the biggest Melanesian State when the other half of our land which we share same ancestors, culture, language, traditions, songs, dance, river, mountains and seas continue to live as if they don’t exist.

 In the recent a past priest has been killed, thousands of people have fled their homes and become internal refugees and some have crossed over to our side of this one island, one land. Not one word of complain or concern or event protest has been aired. 

Even the people who have crossed over recently are from same tribe as the Min people on our side, speaking same languages and sharing same ancestry. We have not uttered a word of complaint or protest. 


Mr Speaker, my questions therefore are as follows : 

1. Are we going to revise our policy towards West Papua and adopt a more ethical morally courageous policy. 

2. Do we plan to raise the matter in the Melanesian Speaker Head Group and if so, when? 

3. What have we done or plan to do to apply pressure on Indonesia to allow the UN Human Rights Rapporteurs to visit the territory to inquire into the specific human rights complaints and the general human rights conditions in west Papua consistent with the Resolution of the Pacific Islands Forum in 2019. 

4. What steps are we doing to assist the ACP Countries escalate the resolution adopted in Nairobi Kenya on West Papua to the United Nations. 

5. Considering that PNG is a key member of MSG and MSG has recognize the United Liberation Movement for West Papua as a observer Member of the MSG what plans do we have provide support to the ULMWP? Can we allocate them funds from our budget or space here in PNG to step up an office capacity to purse their right to self determination. 

Imagine if in 1974 when we had declared self-government and Indonesia invaded and no one came to our assistance. Imagine in 1980 when the French manipulated Jimmy Steven’s to stop the independence of Vanuatu and imagine if Sir Julius Chan and Government then did not send the Kumul Force to Espirutu Santo.

When are we going to have the courage to speak the truth on what is happening on our ancestral land to the West? How long are we going to allow fear to dictate our decisions and actions and do what is morally and ethically correct?

Thank you, Mr Speaker


Minister for Foreign Affairs, Soroi Eoe's response is that he will raise it in Parliament.


Pacific leaders recently highlighted the West Papua at the 76th annual UN General Assembly session.

The issue of self-determination for West Papua was highlighted for the first time since the 1960s by Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinean prime minister James Marape spent more than 40 minutes addressing the assembly, but his speech included some brief indirect and ambiguous remarks that have been widely interpretated as referring to the situation in occupied West Papua.

“While commenting on the United Nations’ peace effort in PNG, I would also like to recall the Pacific islands leaders forum in 2019 and the outstanding visit by the UN human rights’ mechanisms to address the alleged human rights concerns in our regional neighbourhood,” Mr Marape said.

“This visit is very important to ensure that the greater people have peace within their respective sovereignties – and their rights and (the) cultural dignities are fully preserved and maintained.”

The territory’s Free West Papua movement applauded the remarks, suggesting that “those 30 seconds are highly valued, appreciated and respected because every second counts to prevent another Papuan death accompanied by another loss of land”.

While his speech was carefully constructed and avoided naming Indonesia directly as responsible for human rights abuses, Vanuatuan prime minister Bob Loughman was more direct.

“In my region, New Caledonia, French Polynesia and West Papua are still struggling for self-determination,” he said. “Drawing attention to the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples as stipulated in the UN charter, it is important that the UN and the international community continue to support the relevant territories giving them an equal opportunity to determine their own statehood.

“The indigenous people of West Papua continue to suffer from human rights violations.

“The Pacific (Islands) Forum and ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific states) leaders, among other leaders, have called on the Indonesian government to allow the United Nation’s office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit West Papua province and to provide an independent assessment of the human rights situation.

“Today, there has been little progress on this (UN) plan. I hope that the international community, through appropriate UN-led process, takes a serious look at this issue and addresses it fairly.”

Resolutions that were adopted, which were met in 2019, had called for the root causes of the West Papuan problems to be addressed.

On 1 December 2021, this week, the 60th anniversary of self - government for West Papua which the Dutch began on 1 December 1961 was celebrated by indigenous Melanesian Papuans.

After decades, 60 years on, Melanesian consciousness for the inalienable right of West Papua and the indigenous people fighting for freedom seems to find traction.

 PIF and MSG have a position on West Papua. So, does ACP.

PNG followed the ' Greek Tragedy' from day one. So, did Australia. Both signed the UN Protocol on Responsibility To Protect Doctrine Chapter 1 and 2. Indonesia was among 15 countries that blocked the ratification of the UN protocol.

The tide of history is changing.

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