Statement from Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
The Australia West Papua Association in Sydney congratulates Powes Parkop, the Governor of Port Moresby and the National Capital District on receiving the John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award for 2013.
The Award is given annually by the West Papua Advocacy Team to individuals or organisations in recognition of their work in support of West Papua. The award is in honour of John Rumbiak, a renowned champion of human rights for West Papuans who tragically suffered a debilitating stroke in 2005.
When AWPA was formed 20 years ago, Powes Parkop was already known internationally for his support of West Papua. In fact, Powes has been an activist for West Papua since he was in high school.
The award recognises his ongoing commitment to improve the human rights situation in West Papua. Governor Parkop, is also a member of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua and recently launched the “Sorong to Samarai Petition Campaign.”
"We (Papua New Guineans) are not responsible for the occupation of West Papua but we have a moral responsible to do something. We did not create the problem 50years ago but we have closed our eyes. For 50years have closed our ears. For 50years we have closed our mouth. We should not do this any more. We have a moral responsibility to help our brothers and sisters on the other side of the border. I encourage you all to join this campaign and support the people of West Papua. I believe West Papua will be free in my life time."
On the 28 November Governor Parkop will host a meeting of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua.
We warmly congratulate Powes on his award and his ongoing commitment to bring the issue of West Papua to the attention of both the PNG Government and the international community.
Joe Collins on behalf of AWPA (Sydney)