Saturday, September 24, 2016

Statements by Pacific leaders to the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, mentioning West Papua

Statements by Pacific leaders  to the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, mentioning West Papua


Statement Presented by PRIME MINISTER OF TUVALU Honourable Enele 
Sosene Sopoanga at The 71 st Session of the United Nations General 
Assembly General Debate

September 23, 2016

New York

15. In the same vein, the principle of self-determination must also  be respected and honoured. The violation of human rights in West 
Papua and their desire to achieve self- determination is a reality. This great body cannot and must not ignore these deplorable 
situations, it must not hide behind the guise of the principles of  non-interference and sovereignty. The UN must act on this issue and 
find a workable solution to give autonomy to the Indigenous Peoples  of West Papua.


Solomon IslandsH.E. Mr. Manasseh Sogavare, Prime Minister

23 September 2016 


Mr. President,

Solomon Islands is gravely concerned about the human rights violations against Melanesians in West Papua. Human rights violations in West Papua and the pursuit for self-determination of West Papua are two sides of the same coin. Many reports on human rights violations in West Papua emphasize the inherent corroboration between the right to self-determination that results in direct violations of human rights by Indonesia in its attempts to smother any form of opposition.

The principle of sovereignty is paramount in any institution whose core rationale is the respect for sovereignty. If the justification of sovereignty rests on a series of decisions that are questionable, then there is a case to challenge the legality of the argument of sovereignty as is the case of the New York Agreement and the Act of Free Choice.

Solomon Islands adds its' voice to those of other member countries and civil society organisations who are concerned about human rights violations in the Papua and West Papua regions of Indonesia. As the chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group that includes Indonesia as an associate member and the United Liberation Movement of West Papua as an observer, Solomon Islands affirms the need for constructive engagement with Indonesia and looks forward to cooperating with Indonesia to address the violations of human rights in West Papua.

Statement Summary

Marshall Islands

H.E. Ms. Hilda Heine President Republic of the Marshall Islands

71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly
General Debate
22 September 2016

check against delivery

"Given the importance of human rights to my country, I request that 
the UN Human Rights Council initiate a credible and independent 
investigation of alleged human rights violations in West Papua."

Statement delivered by His Excellency the Honourable baron Waqa, M.P., President of the Republic of Nauru
United Nations General Assembly - Seventy-First Session General Debate
Wednesday, 21 September 2 016 

Nauru is deeply concerned regarding the situation in West Papua, including the alleged human rights abuses. As emphasized in the Pacific Islands Forum Communique, it is important that there be an open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia on this matter. 

Full statement


VanuatuH.E. Mr. Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, Prime Minister

23 September 2016 

 From Statement Summary  

Noting his country’s vulnerability to climate change and rising sea levels, he said international assistance was appreciated, but that coordination of post-disaster financial aid through non-governmental organizations was sometimes inefficient and failed to respect national reconstruction priorities.  Vanuatu was proud to contribute to United Nations missions in Haiti and Côte d’Ivoire and it was ready to send more troops if called upon.  On decolonization, he welcomed United Nations assistance with electoral lists in New Caledonia, whose people should freely choose their future status of self-determination.  He went on to urge the United Nations to take concrete measures to address human rights concerns in West Papua.

French original from full statement:

M. le President, la question des droits .de I'homme doit rester en tete de I'agenda des Nations Unies. Le Secretaire general des Nations Unies, M. Ban Ki Moon, nous rappelait en 2012 que les droits de I'homme etaient inalienables et constituaient un principe fondamental des Nations Unies. 

En tant que membres des Nations Unies, il est de notre devoir de demander que ces paroles soient traduites en actions concretes. 

M. le President, les problÿmes des droits de I'homme en Papouasie Occidentale restent en suspens. Je me tiens encore sur ce podium comme ont fait mes prÿdÿcesseurs, avec la m&me conviction morale, exhortant les Nations Unies ÿ prendre des mesures concretes pour rÿsoudre cette question et mes collÿgues dirigeants h appuyer le plaidoyer des Papous occidentaux. Les Nations Unies ne doivent passe voiler la face sur les abus en mati&re de droits de I'homme dans la province de Papouasie Occidentale. Le peuple de Papouasie Occidentale se tourne vers les Nations Unies pour une lueur d'espoir, un espoir de liberte dans I'exercice de leurs droits sur leurs propres terres pour affirmer librement leur identite. 

J’exhorte les Nations Unies d'en faire un volet de son initiative << Les droits humains avant tout >>.

French original of statement is here:



H.E. Mr. Samiuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva, Prime Minister

24 September 2016 

Among other things, he expressed concern about the welfare of the Pacific peoples in West Papua Province of Indonesia.  Regarding human rights abuses in that province, he called for an open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia on the status and welfare of West Papuans.

Statement Summary: 
SAMIUELA 'AKILISI POHIVA, Prime Minister of Tonga, said that his country continuously advocated for the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean and its natural resources.  Tonga attached great importance to Sustainable Development Goal 14 and believed it could be attained through set targets and indicators.  In that regard, the country looked forward to the first United Nations conference on Goal 14 as an opportunity to see where the international community stood in terms of conservation and sustainable use of the ocean and its resources.  Regarding the exploitation of biological diversity, he said that regulation of areas beyond national jurisdictions was yet to be realized.  In accordance with the 2014 decision of Pacific Island Forum leaders, Tonga supported the ongoing process of preparatory meetings.
He said that his country paid close attention to the interaction of the ocean with climate, noting that Tonga had signed and ratified the Paris Agreement.  “We cannot face the challenges of climate change alone,” he emphasized.  Calling attention to his country’s clear and unambiguous links to international peace and security, he called upon the Special Representative on Climate and Security, as well as the Security Council, to raise the issue in the necessary platforms.  “Tonga is the third most vulnerable country in the world to the adverse impacts of climate change,” he said, stressing that their seriousness could not be underestimated.
Noting that the maintenance of international peace and security would be determined by the issue of disarmament, he said the proliferation of weapons in all their forms not only threatened international peace and security, but demonstrated the sheer waste of financial resources.  Those funds might be better spent on international sustainable development initiatives and improving people’s lives, he pointed out.  Part of the challenge of ensuring equitable development was preventing unfair economic dominance by one country over another, which had resulted in the suffering of innocent people, and was not acceptable.  In that regard, he congratulated the United States on its incremental easing of restrictions on its economic interactions with in Cuba.  Among other things, he expressed concern about the welfare of the Pacific peoples in West Papua Province of Indonesia.  Regarding human rights abuses in that province, he called for an open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia on the status and welfare of West Papuans.

National Statement - Republic of Palau

71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly
H.E. Dr Caleb Otto, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Palau to the United Nations 
In statement
"Additionally, we join others to advocate for an amenable resolution to the problem in West Papua”. 
Full statement

Statement Summary: 
CALEB OTTO (Palau) condemned the nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, saying that his country’s proximity to the launch site placed it under special threat.  Climate change also posed existential dangers for Palau, and it was imperative that all efforts be made to ensure that the global temperature increase remain under 1.5° Celsius.  In 2015, Palau had begun implementing its National Marine Sanctuary, which was based on the traditional conservation practice of “Bul” and entailed placing a moratorium on a diminishing resource in order that it may replenish itself.  The Sanctuary would allow the ocean to regain its health, replenish its fish stocks and rejuvenate its biodiversity, he said.  In addition to facilitating the achieving of sustainable Development Goals 13 and 14 on climate action and life below water, respectively, increased income from tourism would allow for the provision of basic services such as sanitation and food security as well as the eradication of extreme poverty.  The project’s success would also depend on areas beyond national jurisdiction, he said, expressing gratitude for the new Implementing Agreement under consideration by the Preparatory Committee for Habitat, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 69/292.

Right of replies

 Solomon Islands - First Right of Reply 
26 Sep 2016 - 1st Right of Reply by the Solomon Islands at the general debate of the 71st Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 20-26 September 2016).

26-Sep-2016 00:01:22
2nd Right of Reply by Indonesia at general debate of the 71st Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 20-26 September 2016).


Indonesia - First Right of Reply

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