Sunday, August 26, 2018

49th Pacific Islands Forum- FWP Campaign -suggested actions



Nauru will host the 49th Pacific Islands Forum (PIFS) and related meetings from September 3rd to the 6th 2018. The Government of Nauru has chosen “Building a strong Pacific: Our Islands, Our People, Our Will” as the theme for this year’s gathering.

The Free West Papua Campaign is calling on people all across the Pacific to help amplify the voices of West Papuans by raising as much awareness as possible and directly engaging your representatives on the issue of West Papua. There is only one key message for Pacific Islands Forum Leaders: West Papua’s fundamental right to self-determination must be brought back to the United Nations agenda.




Suggested actions at



Social media cover photo calling for West Papuan self-determination to be supported at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). Photo: Free West Papua Campaign.


In a recent letter to Former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop AWPA raised the matter of West Papua at the PIF.
From AWPA letter,
“At the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) forum meeting in Port Moresby (2015), the PIF leaders requested Jakarta to allow a PIF fact-finding mission to West Papua. 
We also urge you to raise again the matter of a PIF fact-finding mission to West Papua at the upcoming PIF summit in Nauru in September. Fact-finding missions by the international community to West Papua can only help improve the human rights situation in the territory”. 

Each year the Forum Secretariat oversees an inclusive and public process that allows the people of the Pacific to submit initiatives that can help drive regionalism.

submission by AWPA to the PIF Secretariet.
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)


Other submissions at


Josephite Justice Network

Pacific Islands Association of NGOs

PNG Union for Free West Papua (PNGUFWP)

The Provisional Government of the Federal Republic of West Papua in Jayapura West Papua Capital

Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO)


All submissions including previous years at

About the PIF
The Pacific Islands Forum is the region’s premier political and economic policy organisation. Founded in 1971, it comprises 18 members: 
Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
 Tokelauis an Associate Member 

The Forum’s Pacific Vision is for a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity, so that all Pacific people can lead free, healthy, and productive lives. The Pacific Islands Forum works to achieve this by fostering cooperation between governments, collaboration with international agencies, and by representing the interests of its members.

Since 1989, the Forum has organised an annual meeting with key Dialogue Partners at Ministerial level. The Forum currently recognises 18 dialogue partners: Canada, People’s Republic of China, Cuba, European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.

The work of the Forum is guided by the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, which was endorsed by Forum Leaders in July 2014. It sets out the strategic vision, values, objectives and approaches to achieve deeper regionalism in the Pacific.


In recent years West Papua has been put back on the agenda at the Forum.
Statement on PIF Secretariet webpage

West Papua (Papua)
“Leaders recognised the political sensitivities of the issue of West Papua (Papua) and agreed the issue of alleged human rights violations in West Papua (Papua) should remain on their agenda. Leaders also agreed on the importance of an open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia on the issue.” – 2016 Pacific Islands Forum Communique.

West Papua was first put on Forum Leaders’ agenda in 2000 when they “expressed deep concern about past and recent violence and loss of life…and called on the Indonesian Government, the sovereign authority, and secessionist groups to resolve their differences peacefully through dialogue and consultation.”
West Papua was subsequently raised by Leaders in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2015.

At their 2015 meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, “Leaders recognised the political sensitivities of the issue of West Papua (Papua) and agreed the issue of alleged human rights violations in West Papua (Papua) should remain on their agenda. Leaders also agreed on the importance of an open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia on the issue.”

Through the regional public consultation process under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, concerns regarding alleged human rights abuses in West Papua were raised once again by over 40 Pacific Non–Government Organisations and individuals in 2015.

Forum Leaders considered all available information at 2015 meeting and “… noted concerns about the human rights situation, calling on all parties to protect and uphold the human rights of all residents in Papua. Leaders requested the Forum Chair to convey the views of the Forum to the Indonesian Government, and to consult on a fact finding mission to discuss the situation in Papua with the parties involved.”

In January 2016 Prime Minister Peter O’Neill of Papua New Guinea, as Forum Chair, announced that he had written to H.E Mr Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia conveying Forum Leaders views on the alleged human rights violations and expressed the desire of the Forum to consult with Indonesia on a fact finding mission to discuss the situation in West Papua with the parties involved.

Later in 2016 the issue was again discussed at the Forum Leaders meeting in the Federated States of Micronesia where, “Leaders recognised the political sensitivities of the issue of West Papua (Papua) and agreed the issue of alleged human rights violations in West Papua (Papua) should remain on their agenda. Leaders also agreed on the importance of an open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia on the issue.”

In their 2017 meeting in Samoa, Forum Leaders “recognised the constructive engagement by Forum countries with Indonesia with respect to elections and human rights in West Papua and Papua and to continue dialogue in an open and constructive manner.”
Open dialogue with the Government of Indonesia has led to the Forum being invited to take part in the Election Visit Programme and observe the 2017 Indonesian provincial elections. The Forum team comprised  Mr Sambue Antas, Acting Director-General for Vanuatu’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, and Ms Fetogi Vaai of the Samoan Electoral Commission, with support from the Forum Secretariat. 

The team observed electoral activity in Jayapura and Manokwari in the provinces of Papua and West Papua whose report can be found here.
In December 2017 the Government of Indonesia invited the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to attend the 10th Bali Democracy Forum where a statement was delivered at the plenary session.





Opinion pieces on PIF and West Papua
What Drives Indonesia's Pacific Island Strategy?
Jakarta is courting Pacific Island states, hoping to change regional positions on the West Papua issue.


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