Tuesday, September 8, 2015

1) CSO Outcome Statements on Regional Priorities including West Papua

2) The Time is Now to Act on West Papua

3) Pacific Islands Forum: Australia may be asked to leave group unless action taken on climate change

4) Climate showdown at Pacific leaders’ forum


1) CSO Outcome Statements on Regional Priorities including West Papua

Troika Leaders, i.e. the past (RMI), current (Palau) and future chair (PNG) of the Pacific Islands Forum met with representatives from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) today in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea to have a dialogue on regional priorities. In this historical occasion, CSO representatives presented their consolidated views on the five regional priorities that were identified through the Framework For Pacific Regionalism process and to be discussed by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders during the 46th Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting.
For more information on the CSO position statements on Regional Priorities, click on the links below:

WEST Papua
Pacific civil society,
  1. Recognizing that finding a just resolution to the situation is a moral regional responsibility and constitutes an ongoing obligation for the region to find a just resolution to the West Papuan people,
  2. Recognizing the shared cultural and historical affinity that makes West Papua unquestionable part of the Pacific family,
  3. Recalling that Leaders have, in several previous Communiqu├ęs, recognized and expressed deep concern about ongoing violence and loss of life in West Papua, and recalling also that Leaders have called previously on all parties to protect and uphold the human rights of the people of West Papua and to support peaceful consultations and third party negotiations,1
  4. Taking into account other significant initiatives by Pacific Island nations, at the national level and through international mechanisms, reinforcing regional solidarity for West Papua and other non-self-governing territories in the region,2
  5. Taking note of the affirmation by Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders in 2013 of the inalienable right of the West Papuan people to self-determinationand the current MSG
    processes to consider the matter of West Papuan membership in the organisation,
  6. Recognizing the actual and continuing gross violation of the human rights of West Papuan people, including numerous recent killings and mass arrests of peaceful protestors and activists,
  7. Recognizing the existing isolation of West Papuan groups through direct and structural violence,
  8. Taking note that such human rights violations have continued in West Papua despite previous and widespread expressions of concern by the international community, as well as assurances that impunity by Indonesian security agencies has been curbed,
Leaders’ Communiques 2000 (Tarawa), 2001 (Nauru), and 2006 (Fiji)Notably a) Vanuatu, Nauru and Tuvalu supporting West Papua’s right to self-determination at the United Nations
Millennium Summit in 2000 and b) Leaders’ Communique 2002 (Fiji) expressing support for New Caledonia’s
self-determination process.
Communique (page 9) of 19th Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders’ Summit 20th June 2013 (http://www.msgsec.info/index.php/communique)
  1. Taking into account articles 3 and 4 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoplesregarding the right of self-determination and the recommendation of
    the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at its eleventh session on the implementation of basic fundamental human rights articulated in the Declaration, particularly the right to self-determination,5
  2. Recalling the Charter of the United Nations, its resolution 1514 (XV) of
    14 December 1960 containing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and its resolution 1541 (XV) of 15 December 1960,
  3. Affirming the inalienable right of the people of French Polynesia to self-determination and independence in accordance with Chapter XI of the Charter of the United Nations and General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV),
  4. Recalling Article 3 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples UNGA Resolution 61/295 of 13 September 2007 stipulating that “...Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
Civil Society requests Leaders to:
  1. Reaffirm that West Papua is part of the Pacific region, and that finding a just resolution to the struggle therein is a longstanding regional moral obligation,
  2. Condemn strongly the on-going violation of human rights in West Papua, including the recent fatal shootings of West Papuan youth and mass arrests of community members,
  3. Express solidarity with, and actively explore avenues of accompaniment to, the people of West Papua in their struggle against injustice and the legacy of colonial oppression for some 54 years,
  4. to commission a high level PIF delegation to undertake a fact finding mission to investigate human rights abuses in West Papua,
  5. to urge the UN Secretary-General to appoint a special representative to investigate human rights abuses in West Papua,
  6. to grant West Papua observer status at the PIF,
  7. to pursue the re-instatement of West Papua on the United Nations Committee for
UNGA Resolution 61/295 E/2012/43, para. 39. 



2) The Time is Now to Act on West Papua
By Online Editor
4:56 pm GMT+12, 07/09/2015, Papua New Guinea
By Joey Tau

Solidarity groups throughout the Pacific including Australia and New Zealand are calling on Pacific leaders to act on the West Papua issue at this Forum Leaders meeting.
To not act on the issue of West Papua would be considered a moral failure of our collective leadership in the Pacific.
The call on leaders has gained momentum in light of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), with leaders expected to convene in Port Moresby this week, with West Papua being one of the top contentious priority areas on the leaders agenda.
Solidarity movements in the Pacific have peacefully demonstrated with a firm message to PIF to endorse a fact finding mission to West Papua to investigate human rights violations, support call for a UN Special Envoy on West Papua and assist in placing West Papua on the decolonisation list at the UN.
Historically, Pacific Islands Forum leaders have demonstrated their moral and political leadership recognising the right to self determination struggles in our region, notably in relation to New Caledonia and in seeking just resolution for many other politically difficult issues in our region such as the radioactive contaminants in the Marshall Islands.
Our leaders have facilitated these difficult political issues with integrity in Pacific solidarity with the struggles of our people.
PNG Union for West Papua (PNGUWP) Chairman, Ken Mondiai said the  issue of self determination including that of West Papua had been brought up at numerous Pacific leaders forum over the years, but very little had been done to address the growing human rights violations what continue to flood the media.
"The time is now and our current Pacific leaders must act on the issue drawing their strength from historical leadership to resolve this on going conflict in a just and peaceful manner.
"PNG has an important role to play at this forum and as host and incoming chair of PIF, we call on the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and his Pacific counterparts to act morally and consciously when deliberating on West
Papua," stressed Mondiai,PNG parliamentarian on West Papua and Oro Governor, Gary Juffa shared similar sentiments saying world leaders including our Pacific leaders have failed West Papua and continue to do so.
Governor Juffa labelled the United Nations as a failed organisation saying, “the UN has done nothing to address its apathy in 1969 when it supervised and watched with disinterest the Act of No Choice in West Papua when 1024 elders were forced at gunpoint to vote under duress to be part of INDONESIA on behalf of the entire people of West Papua, yet the UN preaches about the rights, violence, and torture in other parts of the world.”
“We are not free in the Pacific until West Papua is free...the challenge is on our leaders to act on West Papua this week and we expect some firm outcomes.”
The Solomon Islands Solidarity Movement for West Papua has also joined in the regional call, stressing on other Pacific leaders to support the stand behind the leadership of Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare and special envoy on West Papua, Mathew Wale.
Coordinator of the Solomon Islands movement, Lilly Chekana said the people of the Solomon Islands have high expectation of their Prime Minister to champion the issue of West Papua, but are calling on other leaders in support the leadership of Sogavare.  
“Sogavare was vocal during the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) leaders meeting this year in Honiara and we expect him to do the same at this year's PIF. The people of the Solomon Islands will continue to stand with our Pacific brothers and sisters in West Papua.”  
Meanwhile, regional youth movement for West Papua, Youngsolarans have taken a strong social media drive with demonstrations outside.
“We stand in solidarity with other regional movements are call on our leaders to endorse an independent fact finding mission to West Papua...we also want the leaders call on the UN to appoint a human rights special envoy to West Papua," said Youngsolwarans Fiji spokesperson, Vuetasau Buatoka.
Buatoka said there are talks of intense pressure from Indonesia on Fiji and PNG, "and we hope that our Pacific leaders are not influenced in their own space to negate their moral responsibility to West Papuans."
As leaders travel into to PNG today, solidarity movements for West Papua will be hosting rallies throughout the Pacific.
Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG)
Website: www.pang.org.fj
105 Amy Street Toorak
Suva, Fiji Islands
Phone: (+679) 3316 722



3) Pacific Islands Forum: Australia may be asked to leave group unless action taken on climate change

Posted about 8 hours ago
Australia has been warned it could be asked to leave the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) if it does not start supporting stronger action on climate change.
Kiribati president Anote Tong warned people in the region would have to flee in waves similar to the current migrant crisis in Europe unless stronger action was taken to reduce emissions. 
"I think it would be incumbent on them because how relevant [would] their presence be," he said.
"We expect them as a our big brothers, not bad brothers, our big brothers to support us on this one."
Australia and New Zealand are the two most economically powerful members of the PIF, which is meeting this week in Port Moresby.
Pacific nations have called to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius, saying the current goal of 2 degrees above the pre-industrial level would push many beyond their ability to adapt.
Mr Tong's comments follow similar remarks he made on Monday that Australia and New Zealand should show they were "real friends" by supporting more action on climate change.
Kiribati, with its population of 110,000 spread across 33 low-lying islands, is particularly vulnerable to climate change.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott will travel to Port Moresby on Wednesday and will take part in the main PIF leaders retreat on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Mr Tong invited Mr Abbott to visit Kiribati to see the impacts of climate change for himself. 
"I'd love for him to have him come and stay for the rest of his life," he said.
Pacific nations are expected to called for a ban on new coal mines and more ambitious targets for limiting global temperature rise when leaders meet at the regional summit on Thursday.
4) Climate showdown at Pacific leaders’ forum
3:30am September 9, 2015
Pacific Islanders won't be abandoned to suffer in silence as seawater inundates their homes and crops, Papua New Guinea's prime minister has declared ahead of a showdown with Australia and New Zealand on climate change.
Peter O'Neill welcomed 14 Pacific Island Forum leaders and two stand-ins to Port Moresby with a gala opening ceremony and feast on Tuesday night, ahead of Wednesday's summit.
Tribal dancers and drummers wearing elaborate grass costumes, ochre face paint, bores' teeth, mud masks and Birds of Paradise feathered head-dresses, accompanied each leader in a grand procession.
It was a show of national pride ahead of PNG's 40th anniversary of independence from Australia.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is due to arrive on Wednesday night and Fiji's prime minister has boycotted the event, sending his foreign minister instead.
Mr O'Neill said the forum was only as strong as its most vulnerable members and had a "collective obligation" to help smaller states like Kiribati, Tuvalu and Marshall Islands on the frontline of global warming.
He said communities were living in fear of each high tide and storm front, while changes in ocean temperature and acidity hit fish stocks, and the frequency and intensity of cyclones has increased.
"Our people should not have to change their way of life or abandon thousands of years of traditions because of the actions of larger countries and their carbon emissions," Mr O'Neill told the dinner.
He said millions of his own people were suffering from what could be PNG's worst drought in 20 years and a looming food crisis, because of an El Nino weather system which was exacerbated by climate change.
Human rights abuses in Indonesia's Papuan provinces will be another hot button issue.
The leaders may find more common ground on fisheries, a regional strategy to reverse high Melanesian cervical cancer prevalence and improving internet connectivity.
© AAP 2015

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