Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
Media release- 9 September 2015
Aust/NZ should support a fact finding mission to West Papua
RNZI reported that New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully said (in relation to a call by civil society organisations for a fact finding mission to West Papua) that
“I haven't seen a role for a fact-finding mission but I think a healthy discussion about this matter amongst leaders will be useful and I think that Papua New Guinea and the chair will bring a good sense of balance and judgement to that discussion."
Joe Collins of AWPA said, “The West Papuan people feel isolated and ignored by the world. They are asking for foreign affairs representatives to visit West Papua to see for themselves the deteriorating human rights situation in the territory, instead of simply hearing the same old mantra that Indonesian is now a democracy and human rights abuses are a thing of the past”.
As it is some PIF countries wonder why Australia and New Zealand are members at the PIF albeit more to do with their lack of progress on climate change.
It is encouraging that West Papua is on the agenda at the PIF and its hoped that the PIF leaders will listen to the people of the Pacific who are calling on their leaders to send a fact finding mission to West Papua.
Instead of trying to downplay the issue of West Papua Australia and New Zealand should show strong leadership on the issue and they would gain the respect of the other PIF leaders in doing so.