I expected the United Nations’ Secretary General (SG), António Guterres, to confirm to the people of Vanuatu that he understands Vanuatu’s vision for the people of West Papua to be granted their democratic freedom from colonial rule, and that he would take the request to the UN to consider Vanuatu’s stand.
“However he did not say that except to touch on climate change affecting the world and the human rights issues surrounding the Melanesians of West Papua”.
The Chairman of both Vanuatu Christian Council and Vanuatu Free West Papua Association, Pastor Alan Nafuki, made the statement outside his Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu Office at Independence Park yesterday.
Last week, the Vanuatu Government invited the outspoken Chairman of the Vanuatu Christian Council (and Chairman of the Vanuatu Free West Papua Association), Pastor Nafuki, to pray over the United Nations’ Flag and the visit of the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on his five-hour visit to Port Vila on May 18.
Asked his opinion of the SG’s response to media questions on West Papua, he replied, “In my opinion, the UN Secretary General’s remarks on West Papua were shallow and it seemed he merely spoke to please the Vanuatu Government.
“Meanwhile as the Chairman of VFWPA, I expected Mr. Guterres to dwell on the need for the freedom of the people of West Papua but he concentrated on the human right issues of West Papua”.
Pastor Nafuki regrets not having any chance of speaking to him in person due to shortage of time and his busy schedule during his lightening visit to Port Vila which was also the first in the Pacific Region.
He said, “I expected Mr. Guterres to acknowledge Vanuatu’s firm stand for West Papua to be freed from colonial rule and that it would be wise for the UN to listen to Vanuatu in its unshakable stand to help West Papua to gain self-determination from Indonesian rule.
“Let me add that his coming here has not changed my heart or that of my committee and everyone in Vanuatu from the Chiefs to the Government, Opposition, people and children in our steadfast vision for the people of West Papua to be granted their rightful self-determination from Indonesian rule”.
He said the people’s expectation and ‘cry’ for the UN to support the people of West Papua and all other remaining colonized peoples in the world, has not happened.
“Let me proclaim to the world that our stand in favour of self-determination for the people of West Papua and all the remaining colonies in the world, will continue regardless of what ever response comes from abroad.
“The UN SG won’t change our cry and focus for the eventual freedom of the colonised people of West Papua as well as Kanaky, Tahiti and Moluccas”.
As a Christian Church Pastor, he said he believes in God’s timing in which to grant self-determination to the people of West Papua.
“We must fear God that through Him and Him alone, we can receive our freedom”, he said.
Asked what it was that he focused on in his prayer in his latest assignment he replied, “I prayed for those peoples who are struggling for self-determination and God’s caring for those affected by Climate Change”.