- Published on Friday, 14 October 2016 04:23
This is a compilation of statements made by government representatives regarding West Papua. This includes statements made at United Nations meetings and various regional and sub-regional bodies regarding the conflict and human rights situation in West Papua or the human rights policies in Indonesia affecting the situation in West Papua. Any part of this compilation may be reused.
Statements by Year:
Statements by Bodies:
Statment on West Papua delivered by the MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Hon. Ronald K Warsal during the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council on 1st March 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates Ladies and Gentlemen.
The Republic of Vanuatu is very pleased to address this meeting.
Today, I am speaking on behalf of both Vanuatu and six other nations of our Pacific region: Tonga, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, and the Solomon Islands
Mr. President, we seven have come together today – and in a separate written joint statement - in order to draw the attention of the distinguished members of the UN Human Rights Council to the grave situation in West Papua.
Mr. President, specifically, we focus your attention on a number of recent pronouncements by mandate holders of this Council about serious Indonesian violations of the human rights of indigenous Papuans:
- The recent joint letter issued by the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression;
- The Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association;
- The Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples;
- The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; and
- The Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
We also draw attention to other accounts of Indonesian state violence in West Papua, including:
- communications from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, referring to killings and arrests of Papuans;
- numerous well-documented reports of extrajudicial executions of activists and the arrests, beatings and fatal shootings of peaceful demonstrators, including high school students;and
- reports of persistent violence against Papuan women.
We note that in the last fifteen years the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights has collected evidence of gross human rights violations by Indonesian security forces in three principal areas of West Papua: Wasior, Wamena, and Paniai. The Commission has described the sets of cases in the first two places as crimes against humanity, which are punishable under Indonesian and international laws.
We want further to highlight another broad aspect of human rights violations - the Indonesian government policy over many decades and continuing until today of the migration of non-indigenous Papuans to West Papua, leading to a dramatic decline in the percentage of the indigenous Papuan population.
Mr. President, to date, the government of Indonesia has, however, not been able to curtail or halt these various and widespread violations. Neither has that government been able to deliver justice for the victims. Nor has there been any noticeable action to address these violations by the Indonesian government, which has, of course, immediate responsibility and primary accountability.
Furthermore, the Indonesian government has consistently been unable to submit the required periodic human right reports and reviews, which are an essential international norm by which the United Nations secretariat and member states monitor human rights around the world. These written assessments are critical to identifying and eradicating torture, racial discrimination and human rights violations generally.
Mr. President, in light of these violations and the Indonesian government’s inaction, we call on the UN Human Rights Council to request the High Commissioner for Human Rights to produce a consolidated report on the actual situation in West Papua.
The High Commissioner’s report needs to take account of the information in existing Treaties, Special Procedures, and the Universal Periodic Review, as well as reports from other international and regional organizations and non-governmental organizations.
The report should also detail the various rights under the International Bill of Human Rights and the related conventions, including the right to self-determination.
And the report must make recommendations for immediate action to halt the pattern of human rights violations as attested to by the numerous Special Procedures and other bodies noted earlier.
Finally, we ask for full and unreserved cooperation with the High Commissioner in the fulfilment of this mandate, including provision by Indonesian authorities of complete access to any persons in West Papua deemed appropriate to meet in the compilation of this report.
Mr. President, as I close, we believe that challenges of West Papua must be brought back to the agenda of the United Nations. Thank you once again for the opportunity to express my views in this forum. Long God Yumi Stanap. In God we stand. Thank you."
1st Right of Reply by Indonesia during the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva towards the Previous Statement by Vanuatu
“... Indonesia's protection of human rights speaks for itself. This includes our cooperation with various UN Special procedures and mandate holders as well as collaborative endeavors on bilateral, regional and multi-lateral levels including within the human rights council in strengthening the human rights mechanism as well as the protection and promotion of various basic human rights. As a matter of fact Indonesia will receive visits of two special rapporteurs this year and we will present our third UPR report this coming May. We would like to re-iterate that as a democratic country with constitutional rule of law the Indonesian Government has always endeavored to address any allegation of human rights violation as well as taking preventive measures in delivering justice. In this regard it is the expressed commitment of the Government of Indonesia to continuously promote the fulfillment of the rights of its people in Papua. Contrary to the claims made by Vanuatu, many progress has been achieved to realize this objective.
We deeply regret that the Government of Vanuatu is blatantly using human rights issues to justify its dubious support for the separatist movement in Papua. The statement made by the Government of Vanuatu put in question the commitment of the government to comply with the basic principles of the UN as enshrined in its charter as well as its compliance to various relevant international laws. The Government of Vanuatu should not divert its focus from addressing various domestic human rights problems by politicizing the issue of Papua for its domestic political purposes. In this regard the Indonesian Government is prepared tp work and cooperate with the Government of Vanuatu in the efforts to address various human rights violations against the people of Vanuatu, such as violence against women, corporal punishment against minors, appalling prison conditions including the torture of prisoners and other challenges. I thank you."
European Parliament Resolution 2017/2506(RSP) on Indonesia adopted on 19th January 2017 in Strasbourg
"D. whereas on 19 December 2016 Hosea Yeimo and Ismael Alua, two Papuan political activists, were detained and charged with ‘rebellion’ under the Indonesian Criminal Code, following peaceful political activities; whereas Hosea Yeimo and Ismael Alua were released on bail on 11 January 2017; whereas legal proceedings of the case continue; whereas, if convicted, they can face up to life imprisonment;
E. whereas President Joko Widodo has promised Papuans a change, beginning with ‘an open dialogue for a better Papua’, and has undertaken to stop disproportionate use of force and human rights abuses; whereas the President has visited Papua four times since his election in 2014; whereas he recently ordered the release of a large number of Papuan detainees as a gesture of appeasement;
G. whereas freedom of thought, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, freedom of religion, the right not to be arbitrarily arrested or detained, and the right not to be tortured are fundamental and inalienable freedoms and rights;
2. Is concerned about the growing intolerance in Indonesia towards ethnic, religious and sexual minorities; strongly condemns all acts of violence, harassment and intimidation against minorities, as well as impunity for such acts, and condemns the increased abuse of existing regulations in order to discriminate, prosecute and imprison members of religious minorities, traditional religions, and ethnic and sexual minorities;
3. Welcomes Indonesia’s insights on countering violent extremism and its experience in this regard, based on the promotion of a tolerant society and interfaith dialogues; notes the efforts of Indonesia to sustain its democracy, respect human rights and recall its ‘unity in diversity’; stresses the need to ensure the protection of all human rights, particularly those of minority and vulnerable groups, ensuring non-discrimination in their exercise of the freedoms of religion or belief, opinion, expression, association and peaceful assembly;
7. Encourages the Government of Indonesia to take all necessary measures to ensure that the rights of peaceful activists are protected, and to ensure that an enabling environment is created for the realisation of freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful demonstration;
8. Welcomes the release on bail of Hosea Yeimo and Ismael Alua on 11 January 2017; notes that the legal proceedings of the case will continue; calls on the Delegation of the EU to Indonesia to follow these legal proceedings;
9. Asks the Indonesian authorities to consider dropping the charges against Hosea Yeimo, Ismael Alua and other prisoners of conscience against whom charges have been brought for peacefully exercising their right of freedom of expression;
10. Urges the Indonesian and local authorities in Papua to implement immediate and effective measures to ensure the safety and security of peaceful political activists exercising their rights; calls on the authorities to ensure that people in Papua are able freely to express their ideas and opinions without fear of punishment, reprisal or intimidation;
11. Strongly condemns any act of violence or terror, and conveys its condolences to the families of the victims;
13. Calls on the authorities of Indonesia to repeal Articles 156 and 156(a) of the country’s Criminal Code, to remove the blasphemy provisions in the current draft Bill of Revision of the Criminal Code (RUU Revisi KUHP), the Electronic Information and Transactions Law and the rebellion laws (in particular Articles 106 and 110 of the Code), and to bring all laws into conformity with Indonesia’s obligations under international human rights law, specifically on freedom of expression, thought, conscience and religion, equality before the law, freedom from discrimination, and the right to expression and public assembly; notes that people may be imprisoned for ‘defamation’ for as long as five years;"
Statement by the Delegation of Solomon Islands on the Human Rights Situation in West Papua during the 31st Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council
“Thank you Mr. President,
Firstly, allow me to congratulate you on your election.
Solomon Island is the incumbent chairperson of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), and a member of the Pacific Islands Forum. When the MSG granted observer status to to United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) and associate membership to the Government of Indonesia, this was the premise that dialogue between the two parties on issues affecting West Papua could be forged.
Further, Solomon Islands encourages the Government of Indonesia to establish a peaceful dialogue with the representatives of West Papua.
Indeed, we commend the adoption in 2001 of the Special Autonomy Law for Papua, through which the framework, more resources are made available for development projects in the West Papua region including health care and educational services. We also appreciate the increased attention given by the Indonesian President Mr Joko Widodo to West Papua, since his election on 2014.
We, however, are greatly concerned by continuous reports of cases in West Papua of arbitrary arrests, summery executions, tortures, ill treatment and limitations of freedom of expression, assembly and association, mainly committed by Indonesian security forces. The occasions of violence shows a strong pattern of racial discrimination that disadvantages Indigenous Melanesian Papuans in their own land. We consider that Indigenous Papuans are being demographically marginalized, making up only some estimated 43 % of the population. Access for international human rights observers to West Papua, including journalists and human rights organizations has also been reported as limited.
The rise of illiteracy and the high number of maternal mortality of 500 per 100,000 indicate that access to education and health services for Papuans has deteriorated. As a result, indigenous Papuans are now experiencing a far lower population growth than the people in the other parts of Indonesia or Melanesia.
We encourage the Government of Indonesia to cooperate with the Council especially by facilitating the access to West Papua for the UN Special Procedures planning to visit Indonesia specifically for the Mandates on Freedom of Expression, Association and Assembly as a priority.
Finally, Solomon Islands strongly encourages and urges the Government of the Republic of Indonesia to positively respond to the request by the Chairman of the Pacific Leaders Forum, the right Honorable Mr Peter Oneill, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, to allow for a human rights fact-finding mission to be dispatched to West Papua to ascertain the allegations of human rights violations there
Thank you Mr President”
First Right of Reply by Indonesia towards the Statement by the Delegation of Solomon Islands on the Human Rights Situation in West Papua during the 31st Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council
“My delegation rejects the statement made by the Solomon Islands earlier today. The statement represents an unfortunate lack of understanding of the current state and development progress in Indonesia, including the provinces of Papua and West Papua. The statement also reflects misrepresentation of facts. Indonesia's constitution, national laws and policies provide a solid guarantee of respect for the human rights of every person in Indonesia. We have a progressed national human rights protection system. It has been our common practice that the government works in partnership with its vibrant civil society and national human rights institutions.
The evolving national mechanisms in Indonesia are reliable and capable for addressing the human rights issues in a democratic manner whenever they emerge. Not withstanding of the challenges, Indonesia has, is and will continue to pay great attention to the development of all aspects of live of each and every Indonesian in each corner of the archipelago, including the provinces of Papua and West Papua. This includes the promotion and protection of human rights. In fact, we are in constant dialogue with all relevant national and local stakeholders, including the provincial and district governments in Papua and West Papua provinces to strengthen efforts in progressing social economic development. The government has and continues to invest large resources, capacity and support to promote human rights. The two provinces enjoy wide-reaching autonomy and democracy guaranteed by the national laws. Local governments in Papua are headed and administered by locals and it should be noted that the budget in the two provinces are amongst the highest in Indonesia.
We will not be distracted, we will continue our democracy and development agenda for the provinces of Papua and West Papua. We have and will also remain actively engaged – regionally and globally – and continue to make meaningful contributions including in the field of human rights by inter alia sharing its experiences in terms of capacity building and practices. We believe that no country is perfect and we believe that this also applies to Solomon Islands, which we believe is still marred with human rights problems such as corruption, trafficking of persons and violence against women.”
Statement on West Papua Presented by PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAURU, Mr Baron Waga, at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 21, 2016 New York
"Nauru is deeply concerned regarding the situation in West Papua, including the alleged human rights abuses. As emphasized in the Pacific Islands Forum Communique, it is important that there be an open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia on this matter."
Full Statement available at: https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/71/71_TV_en.pdf
Statement on West Papua Presented by PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS, Ms Hilda Heine, at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 22, 2016 New York
"Given the importance of human rights to my country, I request that the UN Human Rights Council initiate a credible and independent investigation of alleged human rights violations in West Papua."
Full Statement available at: https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/71/71_MH_en.pdf
Statement on West Papua Presented by PRIME MINISTER OF TUVALU, Enele Sosene Sopoanga, at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2016 New York
"In the same vein, the principle of self-determination must also be respected and honoured. The violation of human rights in West Papua and their desire to achieve self-determination is a reality. This great body cannot and must not ignore these deplorable situations, it must not hide behind the guise of the principles of non-interference and sovereignty. The UN must act on this issue and find a workable solution to give autonomy to the Indigenous Peoples of West Papua."
Full Statement available at: https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/71/71_TV_en.pdf
Statement on West Papua Presented by PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF PALAU, Mr H.E. Dr Caleb Otto, at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly on 26 September, 2016 New York
"Additionally, we join others to advocate for an amenable resolution to the
problem in West Papua."
Full Statement available at: https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/71/71_PW_en.pdf
Statement on West Papua Presented by PRIME MINISTER OF TONGA, H.E. Mr. Samiuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva, at the 71st Session of the United Nations general Assembly on September 24, 2016, New York
"We express for the welfare of the Pacific peoples that are residents and citizens in the province of Western Papua, Indonesia. Last year, on this same podium, I stood here and spoke about human rights abuses taking place in Indonesia-ruled West Papua. In the year that has passed, nothing appears to have changed in that place. I use the word ‘appease’ intentionally because now we still have no way of knowing exactly what is going on in that place. Probably something is definitely wrong [...].Tonga has concers for the wellfare of indigenous peoples of West Papua. As called for by decision of our recet meeting of our Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting earlier this month in the Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga supports the call for an open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia regarding the status and welfare of the people of West Papua. As a concerned neighbour Tonga also calls on Indonesia as a forum dialogue partner to work with it and other Pacific Islands Forum countries to facilitate this decision of our fellow leaders, either bilaterally or by through United Nations mechanisms.”
Video and Audio File of the Statement available at: https://gadebate.un.org/en/71/tonga
Statement on West Papua Presented by PRIME MINISTER OF SOLOMON ISLANDS, Mr Manasseh Sogovare, at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2016 New York
“Solomon Islands is gravely concerned about the human rights violations against Melanesians in West Papua. Human rights violations in West Papua and the pursuit for self-determination of West Papua are two sides of the same coin. Many reports on human rights violations in West Papua emphasize the inherent corroboration between the right to self-determination that results in direct violations of human rights by Indonesia in its attempts to smother any form of opposition.
The principle of sovereignty is paramount in any institution whose core rationale is the respect for sovereignty. If the justification of sovereignty rests on a series of decisions that are questionable, then there is a case to challenge the legality of the argument of sovereignty as is the case of the New York Agreement and the Act of Free Choice.
Solomon Islands adds its' voice to those of other member countries and civil society organisations who are concerned about human rights violations in the Papua and West Papua regions of Indonesia. As the chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group that includes Indonesia as an associate member and the United Liberation Movement of West Papua as an observer, Solomon Islands affirms the need for constructive engagement with Indonesia and looks forward to cooperating with Indonesia to address the violations of human rights in West Papua.”
Video and Statement Summary available at: https://gadebate.un.org/en/71/solomon-islands
First Right of Reply by Solomon Islands at the General Debate of the 71st Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 20-26 September 2016) towards the Previous Statement by Indonesia
“Solomon Islands would like to exercise its right to reply to the statement by Indonesia made on the the 24th of September 2016 regarding the ongoing human rights violations of the Melanesian people in West Papua.
Solomon Islands notes Indonesia's right to reply regarding the efforts made by the Indonesian Government to establish human rights monitoring mechanisms and other avenues to ensuring that human rights violations in West Papua are addressed. We note, that Indonesia ratified the Convention against Torture in 1998, but to date it has not been able to harmonize the law to include the definition of torture, let alone to criminalize and punish torture. Furthermore, Indonesia has not submitted its period report to the committee against torture since 2008.
The Solomon Islands' delegation receives reports from respectable sources of fellow UN member states and moral leaders from civil society, illustrating a lack of protection of human rights on Melanesian people of West Papua. In this regard, Mr President, Solomon Islands therefore invites Indonesia to substantiate its allegations that the Solomon Islands together with the five other pacific islands delegations have used false and fabricated information by allowing you and special rapporteurs mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to visit West Papua and Papua. Our concern has to do with the increasing loss of lives at the hand of Indonesian authorities.
We may argue and concede that mistakes are made and that lives are lost as a consequence, but Mr. President, how can we as members of this august body, the defender of human rights and the body of reference in ethical and moral values turn a blind eye to the deaths of more than 500.000 West Papuans over the course of the last 50 years. As an island country from a region that Indonesia claims to be a part of, Solomon Islands can not stand behind the argument of sovereignty and integrity of any country and watch such atrocities take place. It is our moral and ethical duty as members of this august body on gathering, to bring this unfortunate reality to the foreign two together, find a way to stop the loss of lives and protect the rights of all human beings, either Melanesian, West Papuan or any other.
Furthermore Mr President,
we come together to agree on certain rights and hold each other accountable to those rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 3 stipulates that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Also International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which Indonesia has ratified, is also a binding legal instrument. Article 9 of this covenant reinforces the right to liberty and security of person. Article 3 of UNDHR entails a responsibility to protect all populations from mass atrocities, crimes and human rights violations. In essence Mr President, we uphold the argument of sovereignty and integrity, we as UN members should also hold other states accountable to article 3 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and article 9 of the ICCPR.
Indonesia has further clarified that many development challenges that we face as the Solomon Islands, too, as is the case with the five other pacific islands countries that were mentioned by Indonesia in its right to reply – as of today including Palau that's six. In its right to reply our challenges are difficult ones and we know full well that we alone can not and will not be able to resolve them. That is why we highlight these challenges here at this august body. In a similar vein we highlight the human rights violations in West Papua because we realize that neither we, nor Indonesia can resolve this matter alone. We are of the position that this matter needs to be brought to the attention of the body of the United Nations and it needs to be done urgently as lives are being lost with all impunity. Mr President, all lives matter, West Papuan lives matter.
Solomon Islands wishes to reiterate its willingness to have constructive engagements with Indonesia on the matter of West Papua. In fact our pacific regional and sub-regional bodies have indicated their willingness to discuss these matters with Indonesia as we are all concerned about the increasing loss of lives in West Papua. Over the last 20 years our pacific islands countries have expressed the need for dialogue with Indonesia on the human rights violations. In fact, over the last 18 months the regional and sub-regional organizational pacific island countries have made three attempts to have constructive engagement with Indonesia
the lack of will to engage from Indonesia will not dampen the commitment of Solomon Islands together with six other pacific island countries to pursue dialogue and constructive engagement as they are the only means to resolving this matter. We understand through true constructive engagement and dialogue we can realize the articles of the UN charter and international human rights instruments that Indonesia has ratified.
In closing Mr President, the Solomon Islands welcomes the opportunity to highlight this case before this august body, so that we, together, and as a family of nations can and must address the human rights violations and the loss of lives in West Papua. It impinges on us as members of the United Nations to cast aside all barriers, so that further lives are not lost in West Papua.
we are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold, for all live is sacred. I thank you for exhausting your patience Mr President.“
Second Right of Reply by Indonesia at General Debate of the 71st Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 20-26 September 2016) towards the previous Statement by Solomon Islands
I am compelled to take the floor again to exercise our right of reply due to the response by the delegation of Solomon Islands.
The remarks just delivered by the delegation of Solomon Islands show the use of the allegations of human rights to support a separatism movement and it is only reaffirming the persisting violation to principles and purposes of the UN charter by blatantly interfering internal affairs of other states, sovereignty and territorial integrity of other nations. This also shows their continuous ignorance of the facts on the ground and falls into the trap of trash information from the separatist groups. I Thank you.”
Statement on West Papua Presented by PRIME MINISTER OF VANUATU, Mr Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2016 New York
“Noting his country’s vulnerability to climate change and rising sea levels, he said international assistance was appreciated, but that coordination of post-disaster financial aid through non-governmental organizations was sometimes inefficient and failed to respect national reconstruction priorities. Vanuatu was proud to contribute to United Nations missions in Haiti and Côte d’Ivoire and it was ready to send more troops if called upon. On decolonization, he welcomed United Nations assistance with electoral lists in New Caledonia, whose people should freely choose their future status of self-determination. He went on to urge the United Nations to take concrete measures to address human rights concerns in West Papua.”
Video and Statement Summary available at: https://gadebate.un.org/en/71/vanuatu
Official Summary of Issues taken up by US Embassador Robert Blake during meeting with Papuan Provincial Governor Lukas Enembe, Chief of papua regional Police Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw on January 22, 2016
“the Ambassador also met individually with Provincial Governor Lukas Enembe, Chief of Police Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw, and local religious leaders. During these visits he stressed that USAID projects in the region are geared toward supporting President Jokowi’s efforts to fulfil his government’s climate change goals and poverty reduction efforts, as well as those of Papua province, and thanked the Governor and Kapolda for their ongoing efforts to protect U.S. citizens residing in Papua. During the meeting with the Kapolda the Ambassador also praised police efforts in engaging with local communities, and urged them to better adopt non-lethal methods of crowd control and to embrace greater accountability and transparency when officers are involved in incidents.”
Statement on West Papua Presented by PRIME MINISTER OF TONGA, H.E. MR. Samuela 'Akilisi Pohiva, at the 70th Session of the United Nations general Assembly on 29th September 2015 in New York
"Ladies and Gentlemen, most of us have come a long way looking with hope for solutions.
Our political priorities must not distract us from the call so well embodied in the 2030
Agenda to "leave no one behind." I re-emphasize that this call speaks to us as Leaders, to
work together against injustice and cruel violation of human rights and dignity as in the case of West Papua in Melanesia in the Pacific: this is within our power. It is a choice that those with power and privilege can make: United Nation has a duty to closely follow this West Papua case and necessary action be taken to stop this brutal and inhuman activities."
Audio file of the full statement available at: https://s3.amazonaws.com/downloads.unmultimedia.org/radio/library/ltd/mp3/ga/2015/70_TO_EN.mp3
Video of the full statement available at: http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/general-assembly/watch/tonga-general-debate-70th-session/4519086422001
Statement on West Papua presented by PRIME MINISTER OF THE SOLOMON ISLANDS, H.E. Mr. Manasseh Sogavare, at the 70 Session of the United Nations General Assembly on 1st October 2015 in New York
“Mr President, Solomon Islands reaffirms that human rights principles are universal, indivisible, interrelated and must be treated in a fair manner. All states have a legal duty and moral responsibility to uphold, respect and promote human rights and where necessary take preventive, protective and punitive measures against human rights abuses or violations in accordance with the UN Charter and applicable international laws.
Against the foregoing backdrop, the General Assembly is well aware of the continuing concerns of human rights violations in the Papua and West Papua regions of Indonesia. Solomon Islands together with the Pacific Islands Forum are seeking genuine dialogue and cooperation with Indonesia. The outreach is to resolve and dissolve reported allegations of human rights violations occurring on two of Indonesia’s ethnic Melanesian regions namely Papua and West Papua. Solomon Islands further calls on the Geneva based Human Rights Council to do more in investigating and monitoring of allegations of human rights abuse and violence on ethnic Melanesians in the concerned regions of Indonesia. We would like this issue attended to in a timely manner.
In this connection the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in its recent Leaders Summit in Port Moresby approved the deployment of a fact finding Mission to West Papua to establish the alleged abuse of human rights there. We appeal to the Government of Indonesia to allow free and unrestricted access to this Mission in the true spirit of regional cooperation. In the long term however, the United Nations cannot shy away from the root causes of these violations.”
Full Video of the statement available at: http://webtv.un.org/watch/solomon-islands-general-debate-70th-session/4524779327001
PDF File of Solomon Islands' statement available at: https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/70/70_SB_en.pdf
Right of Reply by Indonesia at General Debate of the 70st Session of the General Assembly of the UN in New York towards the Statements by Tonga and Solomon Islands
"[...] My delegation strongly rejects the refferences concerning the so-called "human rights issue in West Papua" in their statement. The said references are dangerously misleading and therefore compell my delegation to set the record straight.
Human rights protection and promotion has always been a strong part of my government's priority. Indonesia's constitution and national laws provide a solid guarantee of respect for the human rights of every person in Indonesia. It is my delegation's firm conviction that no country - big or small, developped or least developped - is free of human rights problems. Indonesia is not an exception. However, as a a mature and the fourth largest democracy in the world, Indonesia has put in place a robust national human rights protection system and continues to strengthen its human rights institutions and legislations. It has also been a long practice that the government of Indonesia works together with its national civil societies and national human rights institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights. These civil society and human rights institutions provide the necessary checks and independent reviews to make sure that human rights are properly monitored and protected. That is to say, the evolving national mechanisms in Indonesia are reliable and capable for addressing any human rights issues whenever they emerge, including the persisting ones, in democratic manner.
Indonesia also remains actively engaged - regionally and globally - and continues to make meaningful contributions in the fields of human rights, including by sharing its experiences in terms of capacity building and practices in human rights protection and promotion.
we respect expression of concern by any party over human rights situations everywhere including in Indonesia in general, or in certain parts of the country. My delegation, however, is not convinced that the reference in the statements made by those delegations was appropriate and had any merit. In deed, they contain inaccurate allegations over the human rights situation in certain parts of Indonesia and indicated political motivation beyond human rights considerations. Furthermore, they included mis-representation of facts.
The government of Indonesia in deed continues to invest large resources and pays great attention to the development of all its aspects of live in its provinces Papua and West Papua, and this includes the promotion and protection of human rights. The two provinces enjoy wide-reaching autonomy guaranteed by national laws including the election of governors and other heads of regional governments. The government continues to do its upmost to be accountable to the people of Papua and West Papua, including in the areas of human rights.
To conclude Mr President,
the government of Indonesia attaches great importance to its relations with pacific island countries as some people of Indoesnia have strong comunalities with poeples of the Pacific islands region. It has been our national policy to cherish comunalities as it is among the ways to bridge diversity. Therefore, let me re-iterate that the government of Indonesia is committed to continuing its engagement in good faith with Pacific Island countries for common peace and prosperity in the region. Thank you Mr President."
Video of Indonesia's right to reply available at: http://webtv.un.org/search/indonesia-first-right-of-reply-general-debate-70th-session/4528921979001?term=indonesia
Right of Reply by Tonga at General Debate of the 70st Session of the General Assembly of the UN in New York towards the previous Statement by Indonesia
"Thank you Mr President for giving me an opportunity for Tonga to take the floor and respond to the comments made by Indonesia. [...] Tonga values the diplomatic relations with Indonesia. It recognizes the sovereignity of Indonesia over its population and its affairs. However, Tonga has received reports of alleged human rights violations and is concerned and it proposes to Indonesia in friendly ways to hold a dialogue - not just Tonga but also perhaps other members of the pacific island countries - in a friendly way to dialogue with Indonesia, perhaps to gain more understanding, perhaps to conduct a fact finding mission in cooperation with Indonesia to find more information and facts about these allegations.
However to conclude Mr. President, Tonga holds high regards for Indonesia and its diplomatic relations with Indonesia, but simply would like to register, as has been said by my Prime Minister, about Tonga's concerns about allegations of human rights violations. But there is room for further dialogue and as part of the proposed solution for this and to addressing the concerns of Tonga would like to hold more dialogue with Indonesia. Thank you Mr President"
Video of Tonga's right to reply available at: http://webtv.un.org/search/tonga-first-right-of-reply-general-debate-70th-session/4528787375001?term=tonga
Right of Reply by Solomon Islands at General Debate of the 70st Session of the General Assembly of the UN in New York towards the Statements by Indonesia
"In respose to the right to reply by Indonesia, Solomon islands would like to begin by first of all re-iterating its deep respect to Indonesia's sovereignity and our realations with Indonesia. We certainly also note the statement delivered by Indoensia and would just like to re-iterate that the UN Charter is based on three pillars: Peace and security, human rights and development. My delegation also wishes to re-iterate that all states have a legal duty and moral responsiblity to uphold, respect and promote human rights and when necessary take preventive, protective and punilative measures against human rights abuses and violations in accordance with the charter UN and applicable international laws.
On the issue of human rights violations in Papua and West Papua, we have made it clear in our statement an the General Assembly that we would like to work with Indonesia - we would like to work with everyone within the United Nations Human Rights Commission. We would like to work in the multi-lateral system on theis issue.
So we welcome what has been said by Indonesia. We welcome its committment to work in good faith with - not only with the Solomon Inslands, not only with the Pacific Island Forum countries - but with all of us in terms of addressing human rights violations where ever they may occur. And in that respect we wish to underscore that we seek dialogue and cooperation with Indonesia as alluded to by the leaders by the Pacific Islands Forum in which we would like to work with them in addressing some of theses issues within the context of the UN charter and within the context of international law. I thank you, Mr President"
Video of Solomon Islands' right to reply available at: http://webtv.un.org/search/solomon-islands-first-right-of-reply-general-debate-70th-session/4528787376001?term=solomon
UN Human Rights Council 25th Session
Reply of Indonesia to Vanuatu
Statements by US Ambassador Robert Blake during visit to Provinces Papua and Papua Barat between 8 and 13 June, 2014
Statement on West Papua Presented by PRIME MINISTER OF VANUATU, Mr Moana Carcasses Kalosil, at the 25th Regular Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on 28 March 2014, Geneva
“H.E. President of the Human Rights Council H.E. Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Bani Ki Moon Excellencies Distinguished Delegates Ladies and Gentlemen
The Republic of Vanuatu is very pleased to be addressing this meeting today. I have come here to join the leaders of the world to discuss and raise concerns on different human rights challenges affecting millions of innocent citizens across the entire globe, from the island countries and in countries across continents.
the focus of my statement here today will be on two important but very highly critical issues to the entire population of my country. First I want to focus on the rights of our indigenous people to practice their cultural and spiritual rituals in the two of our islands in the Tafea Province, South of Vanuatu. And Secondly, I will bring to the forefront or our debate some of the issues regarding human rights abuses in West Papua that have been very disturbingto the community of democracies around the world.
my country’s struggle to achieve political independence in 1980 was marked with incidences of social protests and emergence of some political movements within our country. We were Melanesians being governed by Britain and France in our own mother land. Prior to 1980, we were stateless in our country and we were neither French of British citizens. And for almost 4 decades, we were exposed to foreign rule. So we had to struggle to construct our identity as free people to live in dignity. Independence was our objective. And this was a compelling thrive that motivated our leaders to achieve nothing less than political independence. We did not fight for independence because we were economically and financially ready. We did not fight for independence because our colonial masters were killing our people. No. We fought for our political independence because it is our God given right to be free. Freedom was our inalienable right. It is a human right. And Vanuatu was proclaimed independent on 30 July 1980. Thirty three years after our independence I am delighted to say that France has begun to demonstrate its willingness four our indigenous people to visit two of our very sacred islands, Umaepnune (Mathew) and Leka (Hunter) in the southern part of our country to fulfill their cultural and spiritual obligations. Rituals and ceremonies have continued to be held on other islands of the Tafea province annually despite the blockage previously imposed by the French authority for our tribesmen to travel to the sacred islands Umaepnune and Leka islands to fulfill their cultural and spiritual duties.
I want to now focus my attention on the chronic human rights challenges that has affected the indigenous Melanesian peoples of West Papua since 1969. And I do this with great respect and humility. My country is here in this meeting to amplify the concerns for human rights in West Papua. We are very concerned indeed about the manner in which the international community had neglected the voices of the Papuan people, who’s human rights have been trampled upon and severely suppressed since 1969.
you are presiding over the noblest organ of the United Nations- the Human Rights Council. But what do we do when rights of the Melanesian people of West Papua is challenged with military interventions and presence? Since the controversial Act of Free Choice in 1969, the Melanesian People of West Papua have been subject to on-going human rights violations committed by the Indonesian security services. The world has witnessed the litany of tortures, murders, exploitation, rapes, military raids, arbitrary arrests and dividing of civil society trough intelligence operations. The Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (KOMNAS HAM) concluded that these acts constitute crimes against humanity under Indonesian Law No. 26/2000 (KOMNAS HAM 2001,2004). In this climate of fear and repression of political dissent, and blatant negligence by the international Community including the UN and the powerful developed countries since 1969, we find this forgotten race still dare to dream for equality and justice. Yet the democratic nations have kept silent.
as a Melanesian citizen, I have come here to call for immediate action. Injustice in West Papua is a threat to the principle of justice everywhere in the world. I do not sleep well at night when I know that in 2010 Yawan Wayeni, known as a separatist was videotaped by the security forces as he was lying in a pool of his own blood with his intestines seeping from a gaping wound in his abdomen. It concerns me that in October 2010 Telenga Gire and Anggen Pugu Kiwo were tied by the military and were severely tortured. It concerns me when I see the video footage of a group of Papuan men bounded and being kicked in the head by uniformed soldiers who are meant to protect them. I am worried because between October of 2011 and March 2013, 25 Papuans were murdered and nothing has been done to bring perpetrators to justice. And it embarrasses me. As a Melanesian, to note that roughly 10 % of the indigenous Melanesian population have been killed by the Indonesian Security forces since 1963. While I acknowledge the 15 years of reformation that has taken place, I am also worried that Melanesians will soon become a minority in their own motherland of Papua.
in a world so now closely connected with innovative technology, there should be no excuses about lack of information on human rights violations that have plagued the Papuan people for more than 45 years. Search the internet and research papers by academic institutions and international NGO’s and you will find raw facts portraying the brutal abuse of the rights of the Melanesian people in Papua. But why are we not discussing it in this counsel? Why are we turning a blind eye to them and closing our ears to the lone voices of the Papuan people, many of whom have shed innocent blood because they want justice and freedom. Many are martyrs that have been persecuted and brutally murdered because the carry the unspoken voices of the millions now living in fear in the valleys and lofty mountains of Papua. They are demanding recognition and equality and a respect for their human rights and to live in peace. Will this august council hear their cries and now go forward to protect their human rights and put right all wrong of the past? I have listened attentively to the voice of a former Civil Servant Mr. Filep Karma and student Yusak Pakage who were sentenced to 15 and 10 years in prison and speaking from behind bars, calling on our countries in the Pacific to speak out against the injustice against them. These are the children of the warriors who have stood firm to fight during the second world war in the Pacific and who helped bring peace and security in our part of the world. It is now our duty to bring peace to their tribal villages and communities by affording them their basic human rights that most of us here take for granted. I am very encouraged that the matter has now reached the European Union Committee on Human Rights and we look forward for some actions to improve the human rights conditions of our brothers and sisters in Papua. I further call on the Governments of the developed countries including the African nations and the island countries of the Caribbean and the Pacific to condemn the issue of human rights violations. I want to echo the words of Martin Luther King Jr., who said in his speech in 1963 that, “nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” We the democratic nations must not ignore the cries of the Papuan people.
the concerns we are raising here is more than a question of keeping 70 % of the wealth from oil and gas in West Papua, it is the question of political status. The concerns we are raising here, is more than the question of economic status were 80 % of wealth from Forestry, Fisheries and general mining are kept in Papua. It is a question of the respect of the human rights and existence of the Melanesian people. Our concern is not to see how much they have been fed by a golden spoon, but to see the measure of respect for freedom accorded to the Papuans as equal citizens. And to what degree the civil society are given the right to express concerns about the quality of governance in their motherland. For this should be a measure of a vibrant democracy.
access must be allowed for the UN human rights monitor, international journalists and international human rights NGO’s to visit West Papua. It is clear from many historical records that the Melanesian people of West Papua were the scapegoat of Cold war politics and were sacrificed to gratify the appetite for the natural resources which this country possess. Mr. President, if the UN Representative, Mr. Ortiz Sanz had described the West Papuan issue as a cancer growing “on the side of the and that his job was to remove it”, it is very clear today from what we have seen that this cancer was never removed but simply concealed. One day, this cancer will be diagnosed. We must not be afraid if the UN had made some mistakes in the past. We must admit our mistakes and correct them.
as I close, my government believes that human rights challenges of Papua must be brought back to the agenda of the United Nations. I call on the Human rights Council to consider adopting a resolution to establish a country mandate on the situation of human rights in West Papua. The mandate should include investigation of the alleged human rights violation in West Papua and provide recommendations on a peaceful political solution in West Papua. This will help to assist in supporting H.E. President Yudhoyono’s pledge to hold dialogue with Papua.
Thank you once again for the opportunity to express my views in this forum. Long God Yumi Stanap. In God we Stand. Thank you.”
Reply by the Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the statement made by Vanuatu during the 25th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council
My delegation takes the floor to exercise its right of reply to the statement made by Vanuatu.
The Government of the Republic of Indonesia strongly rejects the statement concerning the so-called ‘issue of West Papua’, made by the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, H.E. Moana Carcessess Kalosil, at the High-Level Segment on this morning.
His statement represents an unfortunate and sadly lack of understanding of basic facts on historical role of the UN and the principled position of international community at large as well as the current state of Indonesia, including the actual development in the provinces of Papua and West Papua, Indonesia.
We are just too conscious that internal political dynamics in Vanuatu have often played a role in the raising of the so-called ‘issue of West Papua’ in various fora, including the United Nations, as evidently stated in a statement made by the Office of Prime Minister Sato Kilman of Vanuatu in May 2012 and published by the Vanuatu Daily Post on 22 May 2012, which stated inter alia:
“in Vanuatu, the West Papua issue has been politicized and used by different political parties and movements not for the interests of the people in West Papua but more so for elections and political campaign propaganda …”
Furthermore, the statement of Mr. Kalosil is simply in contradiction with the visit of a high-level delegation of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) members representing Melanesian Community, to Indonesia from 11 to 16 January 2014 in which Ministerial Level Delegation of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and representative of the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) of New Caledonia as well as MSG High Representative conducted in situ visit to Papua province and obtained firsthand information. The Communique resulted from the visit stipulates that the government of Indonesia and members of the MSG are determined to strengthen cooperation and further enhance constructive relationship.
Worse, his statement is also in contradiction to the will of the Vanuatu government itself towards its relation with Indonesia as reflected in the 2011 Bilateral Development Cooperation Agreement that provides a legal framework for the two countries to respect each other’s sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity and principles of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
For its part, Indonesia will not be distracted by such inclination. We will continue fostering our agenda for democracy, including the promotion and respect for the human rights of all its peoples.
At the same time, we will also persevere in the promotion of friendly relations with the Government and people of Vanuatu based on principles governing friendly relations between countries. A good will that we have demonstrated by presenting constructive recommendations to Vanuatu in their UPR consideration on last January.
Finally, Mr. President, we also would like to request to you that this statement to be put as an official document and record of the Human Rights Council.
I thank you.”
Reference: United Nations, human Rights Council, Note verbale dated 4 March 2014 from the Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva addressed to the Office of the President of the Human Rights Council, A/HRC/25/G/13, (7 March 2014), available at: http://undocs.org/A/HRC/25/G/13
Statements by US Ambassador Robert Blake during visit to Provinces Papua and Papua Barat between 8 and 13 June, 2014
“The United States recognizes the territorial integrity of Indonesia, within its present borders, including Papua. We also support a meaningful dialogue to resolve long-standing issues. During this trip, I discussed with senior government, religious, tribal, police, and military personnel the importance of respecting everyone’s right to freely and peacefully express themselves. We also discussed the benefits that would come from increasing access to Papua for international journalists.” (June 8, 2014)
“The United States is proud to support programs that are improving the lives of Papuans. Through the U.S. Agency for International Development, we partner with the national and local governments, community leaders, the private sector, and religious and adat leaders on health, education, governance, forest conservation and climate change programs. In 2013, the United States invested $10 million in development programs in Papua and West Papua.” (June 10, 2014)
“During my meetings, I welcomed the improvement in performance on human rights in Papua by security forces and emphasized the need for sustained progress on this vital issue.” (June 10, 2014)
“I saw how Freeport is making unprecedented and much needed contributions to Papua, not only in terms of economic development and employing more than 30,000 people, but also to the local communities and local institutions. The company invested over $100 million last year in support of Papuan education, malaria and HIV and other health programs, training, and entrepreneurship programs that have helped to create 120 Papuan owned and operated businesses.” (June 11, 2014)
Statement on West Papua Presented by PRIME MINISTER OF VANUATU, Mr Moana Carcasses Kalosil, at the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 28, 2013 New York
“We can all talk about good governance and rule of law and respect for human rights. But when it comes to the issue of the rights of the people of West Papua, our voices are muted even in this podium.
I want to congratulate the Secretary General Mr Ban Ki Moon who emphasized in his visit to Asia in 2012 that the UN will do all to ensure that human rights will be respected in West Papua and I quote: "whether you are an independent state or a non-self governing territory or whatever, the human right is inalienable and a fundamental principle of the United Nations." Unquote.
Now we as members of the United Nations must call for these words to be translated into concrete action.
my Government, calls upon the United Nations to appoint a UN Special Representative to investigate alleged human rights in West Papua and its political status in light of the controversies surrounding the UN Temporary Executive Authority administration in the 1960s. Ever since the controversial Act of Free Choice, the West Papuans have been consistently denied any sort of recognition by the United Nations. It is clear from many historical records that the Melanesian people of West Papua were the scapegoat of Cold war politics and were sacrificed to gratify the appetite for the natural resources which this country possess. Today they are still the victims of ignorance of the UN.
if the UN Representative, Mr Ortiz Sanz had described the West Papuan issue as a cancer growing "on the side of the UN and that his job was to remove if”, it is very clear today from what we have seen that this cancer was never removed but simply concealed. One day, this cancer will have to be treated. We must not be afraid if the UN had made some mistakes in the past. We must admit our mistakes and come out stronger. For when we are weak and admit our mistakes and take corrective action, then we are strong and vibrant.
As members of the United Nations, we all subscribe to the principles of democracy, good governance, human rights, accountability and the rule of law as enshrined in the United Nations Charter. And in the age of technology where nothing could hide from the attention of civil society and Governments, Mr President, I ask, how can we then ignore hundreds of thousands of West Papuans who have been brutally beaten and murdered? Mr President, the people of West Papua are looking to the UN as a beacon for hope. We are now deliberating on the issue of Syria. Let us, my colleague leaders, with the same moral conviction yield our support to the plight of West Papuans. It is time for the United Nation to move beyond its periphery and address and rectify some historical error.”
Video and Statement Summary available at https://gadebate.un.org/en/68/vanuatu