Melanesian family defers West Papua membership bid
By Stefan Armbruster SBS Source: SBS World News
14 JUL 2016 - 7:08 PM UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO
West Papuan residents will have to wait until at least September to be recognised as a fully-fledged member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
Leaders of Melanesian nations have delayed their decision on a West Papuan liberation movement bid for historic recognition and equal diplomatic status.
At a summit in Honiara of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia’s FLNKS failed to agree on full West Papuan membership.
Blamed was a lack of properly defined membership criteria and MSG officials have now been ordered to prepare guidelines.
The United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) membership application will now be considered at a special MSG meeting to be held in Vanuatu in September.
Indonesia has vigorously lobbied the MSG members not to give recognition to the West Papuans, saying it is the only true representative of Melanesian peoples in five of its provinces and the ULMWP is just an NGO.