Monday, July 18, 2016

1) Local WP activists: We will not back down


2) PNG SEEKS GUIDELINES ON WEST PAPUAN MSG BID

3) West Papuans remain upbeat on MSG bid
4) West Papua: New Zealand PM to Discuss Indonesia’s Human Rights Violations in Jakarta

5) Indonesia, NZ target US$4 billion trade by 2024

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1) Local WP activists: We will not back down
                                             LOCAL WEST PAPUA ACTIVISTS AND SUPPORTERS IN A RALLY
                                       LAST WEEK IN SUPPORT OF WEST PAPUA'S APPLICATION TO BE A MEMBER OF THE MSG.

LOCAL West Papua activists in the country said they will not back down in their move to see West Papua included in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
The group made the stand after the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) deferred the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s (ULMWP) application for full membership in their recent meeting in Honiara, last week.

They said, they shared similar thoughts raised by the spokesperson of the ULMWP Benny Wenda, that this could be seen as a delayed tactic.

“We will not back down.

“We will continue to fight for our Melanesian brothers and sisters until they are members of the MSG,” the group told the Solomon Star, after the outcome of the MSG’s decision last week.

Last week, the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Special Leaders Summit agreed to defer the consideration of the application for full membership by the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP).

It was reported that the delay was agreed to until membership criteria and guidelines are further developed by the Sub-Committee on Legal and Institutional Issues (SCLII), considering fundamental principles, political aspirations, and principles of international law and to be completed end of September 2016.

Leaders did not reach consensus and directed the SCLII to undertake further review on:

(i) the revised application Procedures, Criteria, and Participatory Rights and Obligations of an Observer and an Associate Member to the MSG.

(ii) the new membership guidelines for full membership to the MSG.

However, the membership application will now be considered at a special MSG meeting to be held in Vanuatu in September.

A peaceful rally staged in Honiara last week also attracted up to 3,000 people.

By RONALD TOITO’ONA




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2) PNG SEEKS GUIDELINES ON WEST PAPUAN MSG BID

From Tuesday 19 July 2016

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister says it's important that the Melanesian Spearhead Group sort out its guidelines around membership after MSG leaders last week deferred a decision on a full membership application by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

TRANSCRIPT

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato says it's important that the Melanesian Spearhead Group sort out its guidelines around membership.
In Honiara last week, MSG leaders deferred a decision on a full membership application by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, citing a need to establish guidelines for membership.
Vanuatu's government has expressed disappointment at the outcome amid increasing signs that along with Solomon Islands and New Caledonia's FLNKS Kanaks movement, it is at odds with the other full MSG members PNG and Fiji.
Mr Pato spoke to Johnny Blades who asked if it was true that Fiji threatened to leave the MSG along with associate member Indonesia if the West Papuans were granted full membership.
RIMBINK PATO: Well I think Fiji can speak for itself. But I think Fiji and PNG are in agreement that there must be a definitive statement as to the characteristics which will enable full membership of future or present applicants for full membership in the MSG group. As if the case with PIF (Pacific Islands Forum) for example, where there was an application from French Polynesia and the issue of what are those characteristics that should enable someone's membership that is under consideration. So our position is that we should maintain some consistency. Unless those issues are determined, any applications before that without a definitive statement as to those things which enable one to acquire full membership, until then unless those things are finalised, any application therefore would be incompetent.
JOHNNY BLADES: So this was the case with the FLNKS, that's the criteria that they met when they joined?
RP: No. FLNKS, they were in there right from the beginning. They have come a long way and they have taken a completely different route in terms of the issues that require their inclusion and consideration for full membership; and their agendas for example of going through the process recognised by international law, the issue of decolonisation. Look, we are concerned for example with the issue of alleged human rights (abuses) in Indonesia's provinces of West Papua and Papua. But that being said, that issue must be separate from the issue of self-determination. PNG's position, and I think it's also the position of Fiji, is that West Papua remains an integral part of the republic of Indonesia.
JB: But can't you have them in the group and it doesn't have to be about supporting independence. I mean (PNG prime minister) Peter O'Neill said it last year that it was time for the West Papuans to be at the table because...
RP: Well, they are West Papuans at the table. So are the Indonesians. They're all at the table. One is associate member and the other one is observer. But again, this requires a definition as to what one must meet to be a member. That's under review at the moment. Our technical officials are still working on it. And for example, the draft that they came up (with) had flaws in it. For example, they said how you acquire membership, and in paragraph one they're talking about states acquiring membership and what you need to do, and then further down, there were so many inconsistencies, you know what I mean. It was done in the night and brought in the morning, so all these things need to be polished up.



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3) West Papuans remain upbeat on MSG bid
5:53 am today 

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua accepts the decision by leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group to defer its bid for full membership.
At their summit in Honiara last week, MSG leaders said the group’s secretariat needed to establish guidelines for membership and signalled that a decision should be reached on the bid by September.

The Liberation Movement's spokesperson, Benny Wenda, said this could be seen as a delay tactic but his organisation acknowledged the technical issues highlighted by the MSG leaders and senior officials.
The issue of West Papua membership is increasingly divisive for the MSG's five full members.
Since the Liberation Movement was last year granted observer status, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and new Caledonia's FLNKS Kanaks movement have pushed for the West Papuans to get full membership.
However, Fiji and Papua New Guinea have resisted the push, amid strong lobbying by MSG associate member Indonesia which is opposed to the Liberation Movement.
Vanuatu's government has expressed disappointment at the outcome of last week's summit.
However the Liberation movement is remaining upbeat, describing the MSG's decision as progress to improving processes within the MSG.
It said there would be further discussion at the MSG meeting scheduled for Vanuatu's capital in September.
"We want to thank our Melanesian leaders and the chair and Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands for discussing and facilitating our application for full membership. Though disappointed, we remain optimistic to see our application further discussed in September in Port Vila, Vanuatu," said Mr Wenda.
"We the ULMWP would not come this far if it wasn't for the grassroots and Pacific leadership support and we call for more support as we work towards establishing a political voice for our people of West Papua."
ULMWP Secretary General, Octovianus Mote added that West Papuans are Melanesians and our issues of human rights abuse and self-determination must be rightfully addressed in the Pacific and not on Indonesia's terms.

MSG membership guidelines had "flaws", said PNG

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato said it was important that the Melanesian Spearhead Group sort out its guidelines around membership.
Mr Pato said the onus was on officials within the MSG secretariat to outline consistent guidelines around membership.
"This requires a definition as to what one must meet to be a member. That's under review at the moment. Our technical officials are still working on it. And for example, the draft that they came up with had flaws in it. There were so many inconsistencies, so all these things need to be polished up.”
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July 18, 2016

4) West Papua: New Zealand PM to Discuss Indonesia’s Human Rights Violations in Jakarta


A meeting between New Zealand PM John Key and the Indonesian President Joko Widodo is scheduled to take place on 18 July 2016. According to Mr Key, he will not shy away from discussing Indonesian human rights issue with Mr Widodo, including the need to abolish the death penalty. In a press release, New Zealand’s Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has reinforced that the deteriorating human rights situation in West Papua must be at the top of the talk’s agenda. 
 
Here is an article published by: Scoop
John Key’s talks with President Joko Widodo in Indonesia later today need to include a discussion of the deteriorating human rights situation in West Papua, the Green Party said today.
The Prime Minister will be speaking with President Widodo as part of his trade and economic mission to Indonesia, but so far he has refused to confirm whether he will raise the widespread reports of mass arrests, torture and state-sanctioned killings in West Papua.
“Today is John Key’s chance to do the right thing and speak up for the West Papuan people whose legitimate concerns are not being heard,” said Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty.
“It is positive news that the Prime Minister will be raising the use of the death penalty in Indonesia during his visit, but he needs to take the logical next step and talk about the thousands of peaceful protestors who have been arrested in West Papua over the last few weeks.
“John Key needs to act on the human rights principles that New Zealand stands for, and urge President Widodo to stop military and police abuses in West Papua,” said Ms Delahunty.

Here is an article published by: Stuff
New Zealand has been urged to become a leader in encouraging Asia-Pacific countries to abolish the death penalty, as Prime Minister John Key prepares to raise concerns during a meeting with the country's president about Indonesia's executions.
As many as 16 prisoners could soon face Indonesia's firing squad, after a round of executions was suspended until after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The Government has been outspoken in the past about the need to abolish the death penalty, with Foreign Minister Murray McCully in 2015 saying New Zealand was "dismayed" by Indonesia's decision to execute two Australian drug smugglers, members of the infamous Bali Nine.
 
Speaking shortly after his arrival in Jakarta, Key confirmed New Zealand's "deep opposition to the death penalty" was among a range of human rights issues he intended to discuss with Widodo.
"Their longstanding position primarily around the death penalty has been in relation to drugs, and he's really trying to wage a war against drugs which he sees as the cause of a huge amount of pain, and in fact both crime and death in his own population from people using drugs…
"We say to all of these countries, while we absolutely have sympathy for what they're dealing with, and while those that commit crimes should be held to account, there's better ways of doing it than the death penalty."

Amnesty International New Zealand campaigns director Meg de Ronde said Indonesia was part of "a hardened handful" of countries who still had the death penalty, down from over 100 countries three decades ago.
Executions were relatively popular within Indonesia, de Ronde said, and Widodo had executed drug traffickers in an attempt to appear tough on crime.
New Zealand and other countries needed to put constant pressure on Indonesia if it was to abolish executions, she said.
"Pressure from the international community lets them know first of all, it's in breach of international law as far as the process they're following and their judicial system, but also that executions are at odds with the values of many of the countries that they're hoping to trade with."
 
While Amnesty International was "really appreciative" of the New Zealand government's strong stance against the death penalty, de Ronde said it could take on more responsibility in encouraging other countries to change their ways.
"One of the important things is that it's not just raised but actually actively advocated, so it would be really useful to see some form of plan for how the Government could take a leadership role in the Asia-Pacific region in eradicating the death penalty."
Key said he also wanted to discuss West Papua, the Indonesian province which has been fighting for independence.
de Ronde said many Indonesians were in prison for "very problematic offences", such as peaceful political protests or raising a flag of independence.
Widodo won election on a platform of respecting and protecting human rights, but he had not lived up to his promises, she said.
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5) Indonesia, NZ target US$4 billion trade by 2024
Liza Yosephine The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Mon, July 18 2016 | 06:29 pm
Indonesia and New Zealand have stepped up efforts to reach a two-way trade value of US$4 billion by 2024 with the signing of three cooperation agreements on Monday during the visit of Prime Minister John Key to Jakarta.
"The partnership between Indonesia and New Zealand is very critical from our perspective, Key said in his opening remarks at a business forum in Jakarta. He added that New Zealand saw enormous opportunities for the countries to work together, and not just in terms of trade but investment opportunities as well.
The Prime Minister alongside Indonesian Trade Minister Thomas Lembong witnessed the signing of three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) in aviation, e-commerce and electricity. The agreements will see increased investment opportunities from New Zealand to Indonesia regarding capacity building and technology transfers in those sectors.
"We want to increase our trade from the current value of approximately $1 billion per year to $4 billion," Thomas told reporters at the event.  
He said existing trade would also expand in the sectors of agriculture and food. Diary is New Zealand's biggest export to Indonesia, Thomas pointed out. The minister said both countries were also looking to boost trade relations in education, tourism and the services sector.
"The Indonesian and New Zealand economies are so complimentary, it's remarkable, and I think it's perhaps for that reason, and a lot of others, the relationship is fairly friction-free," Thomas said. (dan)
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