1) Activist: Indonesia likely to veto any Pacific monitoring mission in West Papua
Updated about 3 hours ago
Pacific Island leaders will consider launching a fact-finding or monitoring mission to investigate reported human rights abuses in the Indonesian province of West Papua at this meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum.
Aid and human rights groups from across the region have been urging governments to act, saying the situation in West Papua is getting worse.
Rex Rumakiek is the secretary-general of the West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation and is in Port Moresby for the Forum.
He told the ABC's Eric Tlozek it's unlikely that Indonesia will approve any sort of monitoring mission.
The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare will push for a West Papuan group to be admitted to the Pacific Islands Forum at the annual summit of the region's leaders in Port Moresby.
The government's special envoy on West Papua Matthew Wale says the Solomon Islands is supporting the United Liberation Movement of West Papua's application for observer status at the Forum.
The ULMWP was granted observer status in the Melanesian Spearhead Group at the regional organisation's recent leaders summit in Honiara.
Mr Wale says Solomon Islands will also urge Forum leaders to support a resolution calling for the UN Human Rights Commissioner to conduct an assessment on the human rights situation in West Papua.
The Solomon Islands also wants a resolution calling for West Papua to be included on the UN's decolonisation list.
Mr Wale says the leaders have a moral obligation to deal with the issues responsibly given public opinion and the amount of information about the situation in the Indonesian region.
However other Pacific Islands government, notably those of Melanesian powerhouses Papua New Guinea and Fiji appear reluctant to engage on West Papua at the Forum level to any great extent.
The situation in the Indonesian region is one of the five agenda items at the Pacific Islands Forum leaders summit in Port Moresby and there have been calls for a fact-finding mission to the province.
However PNG's Foreign Minister Rimbink says his country will not do anything to endanger the good relationship it has with Indonesia when it comes to West Papua.
Mr Pato says he acknowledges the call for a forum mission and it will be discussed but PNG is looking at other methods.
"Our strongest recommendation will be to work alongside Indonesia. Indonesia has just been made an associate member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group which is a sub-regional body and that is a starting point, and should there be some issues we will be looking to work through that and work together with Indonesia."
The plenary meetings at the 2015 Forum summit have been marked by protesters outside the venue calling for more action in West Papua.
The 16 leaders of the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) are now in closed door meetings in Port Moresby to discuss resolutions on the five topics they have been discussing at the 46th PIF leaders meeting this week.
An official communique expected at the end of the day will give the region’s stand on:
climate change and disaster risk management,
increased economic returns from fisheries activity and maritime surveillance,
regional information and communication technology,
cervical cancer screening and prevention and
The outcome will be known this afternoon when the PIF chair and host Prime Minister Peter O’Neill meets the media at 4pm.
Granting full membership to PIF observers will also be on the leader’s discussion agenda.
O’Neill said yesterday that, “issues of Pacific regionalism, issues surrounding French Polynesia and New Caledonia for full membership, the needs of small island states, human security and immigration were also discussed at the plenary yesterday.”
15 prime minister and presidents representing the PIF nations are attending, while Fiji is represented by its Foreign Affairs Minister.