Monday, September 18, 2017

1) Indonesia offers increased assistance to Samoa and Pacific

2) West Papuan liberation movement focussed on UN plans
3) Oceania bishops want sustainable development
4) West Papuan independence founder dies


1) Indonesia offers increased assistance to Samoa and Pacific

7:16 pm today 
Samoa and other Pacific countries are being offered increased technical assistance and capacity building programmes by Indonesia.
TheObserver reported that Indonesia restated its commitment to playing an active role in regional development during the recent Pacific Islands Forum summit in Apia.
The Director for Technical Cooperation for Indonesia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Syarif Alatas, said the active role was part of his country's effort to contribute to world peace and prosperity.
He said renewed technical assistance was being made available to Samoa, which recently entered a trade relationship with Indonesia.
Mr Alatas said the assistance is usually in the form of training, apprenticeships and scholarships in various fields.
According to him, Pacific countries have become one of then priority areas for Jakarta's international development outreach.
The various capacity building programmes Indonesia offered come in the form of bilateral and triangular cooperation arrangements.
The newspaper reported that between 1999 and 2016 Indonesia conducted at least 182 programmes followed by 1457 participants from countries in the Pacific region.
The programmes were in areas including fisheries, agriculture, democracy and good governance, disaster risk management, seaweed processing technique and entrepreneurship.

2) West Papuan liberation movement focussed on UN plans

From 4:03 am today 

The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation says its decolonisation aspirations are focussed on action at the United Nations.
The Coalition is one of the key groups within the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, which is pushing for internationally-facilitated negotiation with Indonesia over Papua's political status.
Various Papuan civil society, church and customary leaders met with Indonesia's president Joko Widodo last month about establishing dialogue over problems in Papua.
However self-determination is not expected to be on the agenda in the dialogue, in which the Liberation Movement is not involved.
The Coalition's chairman Andy Ayamiseba says the Movement rejects direct dialogue with Jakarta because it considers Indonesia an illegal occupier in Papua.


ANDY AYAMISEBA: So if we dialogue with an illegal occupant, that means we recognise Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua, which is in dispute at the moment. So we categorically reject the offer of dialogue with Jakarta. We are going to follow our roadmap which is to release the issue (Papuan self-determination) back into the (UN) decolonisation committee.
JOHNNY BLADES: That's about the process by which West Papua was incorporated into the republic?
AA: Yes, that is correct. Because we are the mouthpiece of the Papuan people's aspirations. So we have to stand on what the people have instructed us to do. We can't dialogue with Jakarta who try to make us believe that is the right path. We stand against the illegal transfer of West Papua to Indonesia. That is what we are challenging at the moment. We have a roadmap at the moment, where things have to go back to where it was. Before, we were listed on the decolonisation committee, and through an illegal process somehow we were transferred to Indonesia. So we're challenging it now. We're challenging it through legal means as well - not only politically, but through legal means as well.
JB: Whereabouts, is this in the ICJ (International Court of Justice)? Where is the legal avenue?
AA: That is where the International Lawyers for West Papua (come in).
JB: Is there a legal case?
AA: There will be a legal case, we have to justify to the UN, so we could act on the basis of the legal opinion given by the International Court, yeah.
JB: What do you feel about the current mood in the international community about West Papua, do you think it's changed over the years?
AA: Yes. I think we're gaining the momentum, while Indonesia has reached a ceiling. They can't go further than where they were now. We are gaining momentum. We have raised the issue around the world, so we just wait for the process to proceed. I believe that the Pacific countries' Coalition for West Papua is going to table that (issue) in the UN at this coming meeting (of the General Assembly, beginning this week).

3) Oceania bishops want sustainable development
By Rowena Orejana -  September 18, 2017
Oceania’s Catholic bishops have called on their respective governments and civic authorities “to be vigilant in guarding against any attempts by international businesses to exploit our common resource”, meaning the oceans.
The executive committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania (Australia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, New Zealand, CEPAC — the rest of the Pacific) met in Auckland from August 7 to 12.
The executive committee members able to attend were Port Moresby Archbishop Cardinal Sir John Ribat, MSC (president), Toowoomba Bishop Robert McGuckin (deputy president), Noumea Archbishop Michel Calvet, SM, Dunedin Bishop Colin Campbell, Palmerston North Bishop Charles Drennan (spokesperson) and Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, OFM Conv.
“As bishops of the Pacific, the place of the sea in the lives of the peoples we serve was a central focus of our meeting. Our common ocean is teeming with life and goodness. For many of our peoples the sea is their treasured source of nutrition, sustenance and livelihood,” they said in a statement released after the meeting.
“Our interest in the ‘Blue Economy’ is to uphold a model of development that respects the fundamental importance of sustainability that looks way beyond any perceived short term economic windfall,” the statement added.
Bishop Drennan said the plight of Kiwi lay missionary Doug Tennent who was deported from Papua New Guinea in June was also discussed in the meeting.
“He (Mr Tennent) is a much respected advocate for justice in PNG and indeed taught law at university level in that country,” Bishop Drennan told NZ Catholic. “Happily we can say that due to various interventions he has now been allowed to return to the nation he loves and serves.”
“But this whole incident reminds us of the ugly collusion that sometimes exists between corrupt officials and unscrupulous business interests,” he said.
The bishops also expressed concern for the livelihood and cultural integrity of the people of West Papua, without going into the issue of independence.
“There are some groups in Papua who would like to see a breakaway from Indonesia. This view sits against a complex historical backdrop. The FCBCO executive chooses not to enter into this political fray because we believe that independence can be understood on many levels,” explained Bishop Drennan.
“For our group it is best that we focus on supporting fundamental platforms of democracy like education, an independent judiciary, efficient and honest civic leadership, press freedom, and clear boundaries to the role of the police and military,” he said.
“Democracy fosters independence in the sense that it counters subordination — of individuals, families and ethnic communities — to those who exert pressure or exercise authority in a manner that is actually an abuse of power,” he added.
The bishops visited De La Salle College in south Auckland and the City Mission in central Auckland. At the City Mission, they served meals to the homeless, the mentally unwell and those suffering economic deprivation.
“We all noted how often we were simply and quietly thanked by those we served. That humbling experience brought a smile to our faces and strengthened our resolve to notice and to listen to those on the margins of our communities,” Bishop Drennan said.
An FCBCO plenary assembly will be held in Port Moresby in April next year. The theme will be — “Care of our Common Home of Oceania: A sea of possibilities”.

4) West Papuan independence founder dies
7:37 pm today 
One of the founders of the West Papuan independence movement, Nicolaas Jouwe, has died in Jakarta at the age of 93.
Jouwe was a member of the New Guinea Council, the legislature established in 1961 by the Netherlands in its former territory of West New Guinea.
He was the highest ranking Papuan in the colony as the Dutch were preparing it for independence.
When control of the territory was transferred to Indonesia from 1963, Jouwe and his family left to settle in the Netherlands from where he campaigned for an independent West Papua.
He became a permanent advisor to Dutch delegations to the United Nations and the South Pacific Commission.
Jouwe was given a knighthood by the Queen of The Netherlands for his distinguished services to the government in relation to Papuan affairs.
Although he vowed never to return to his homeland if it were still occupied by Indonesia, Jouwe returned for a visit to Papua in 2009 upon an Indonesian government invitation.
He returned to Indonesia to settle again in 2010.
Jouwe died on Saturday in Indonesia's capital. His body is expected to be flown to Jayapura in Papua province later this week for burial.


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