Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Media release-The PIF Regional Security Committee should raise West Papua with

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
Media release 6 June 2012

The PIF Regional Security Committee should raise West Papua with the Indonesian Government.

The 2012 Forum Regional Security Committee (FRSC) Meeting is  being held at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Headquarters in Suva, Fiji from 6 - 7 June.  The FRCS will discuss a wide range of issues relating to and impacting regional security. 

In his opening address Secretary General Tuiloma Neroni Slade said 

"This Committee shoulders some very important responsibilities for the region’s security - the onus is on you to coordinate national and regional security initiatives, and to minimise and eventually close those gaps in regional law enforcement that criminals exploit. I assure you of this Secretariat’s ready assistance and support in this regard, in close partnership with our regional law enforcement agencies and development partners, including civil society organisations".

Joe Collins of AWPA said "although obviously the committee is focussed on PIF matters it should not ignore conflict in the region such  as in the territory of West Papua". A large number of shootings have occurred in West Papua in the last month and unconfirmed reports are coming in of a military operation on Yapen Island near the regional centre of Serui.

A report from the (KNPB) National Committee of West Papua said that during a peaceful rally on Monday three demonstrators were killed in Sentani and a large number arrested. 

A number of countries also used the recent session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR)  to question Indonesia on the human rights situation in West Papua including questioning the Indonesian government on its handling of human rights violations, such as the torture of civilians, shootings and killings in Papua.

Joe Collins said the "FRSC should not only discuss the human rights situation in West Papua but also raise the situation in West Papua with the Indonesian President".

The issue of West Papua will not disappear and AWPA believes that it should be of great concern to the Forum that the situation in West Papua could deteriorate further. The West Papuan people have been calling for dialogue with Jakarta for years (under third party mediation ) and  AWPA believes the PIF can play an important role in helping facilitate such a dialogue between genuine representatives of the West Papuan leadership and the Indonesian Government. The PIF should place pressure on Jakarta to resolve West Papuans’ issues of concern. Otherwise we will see increasing conflict in West Papua which in turn could affect the region


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