New York, September 23rd 2016 – During the General Assembly of the UN, representatives of five Pacific states voiced their concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua. “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” said Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoanga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu. Vanuatu, Nauru, The Solomon Islands and the Marshall Islands also highlighted the problems in their statements.
Hilda Heine, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands requested that the UN Human Rights Council “initiate a credible and independent investigation of alleged human rights violations in West Papua.”
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare of the Solomon Islands said that Indonesia attempts to “smother any form of opposition”. All representatives called upon Indonesia to protect the right to self-determination, also in West Papua.
Indonesia reacted to the statements and denied all allegations. “Their politically motivated statements were designed to support separatist groups which had engaged in inciting public disorder and armed attacks on civilians and military personnel” said the Indonesian representative.
Photo: Honourable Enele Sosene Sopoanga, Prime minister of Tuvalu, at The 71 st Session of the United Nations General Assembly General Debate (UN Photo/Cia Park)