Saturday, August 10, 2019

1) Tuvalu prepares for Forum meeting


2)  TNI anticipates security disturbances in Papua ahead of Aug 17
3) Ensuring RI's Independence Day celebrations run peacefully in Papua
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 1) Tuvalu prepares for Forum meeting
00:18 am GMT+12, 09/08/2019, Tuvalu

By Nic Maclellan (Islands Business magazine) in Funafuti
 
A giant crane hoists the flagpoles into place outside Funafuti’s Sir Tomasi Puapua Convention Centre. Four go up, with
 another fourteen to go. Tuvalu is getting ready to host the 18 member states of the Pacific Islands Forum.
 
Around town, workers are putting the finishing touches to new accommodation, kids are shooing dogs off the airport 
runway, and women are preparing food, flowers and mats. A carver has almost finished the nameplates – shaped l
ike a canoe oar – that will mark the seats for delegations from Australia, New Zealand and sixteen island countries 
and territories.
 
“I believe we’re ready”, said Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga. “It’s been a big job, but our people are ready to host the
 leaders of the Pacific.”
 
It’s a major exercise for the Polynesian nation of just 11,000 people. Accommodation is at a premium, with Forum 
delegations joined by representatives from 18 Forum Dialogue Partners, regional organisations, media and civil society
 groups. Hercules aircraft will ferry delegates from Nadi over the weekend, to support the limited number of
 commercial flights into the small atoll nation.
 
There’s a lot of international interest in the annual leaders’ meeting, at a time when regional geopolitics is becoming 
more heated and complex.  
 
Australia is “stepping up” and New Zealand “resetting” its relationship with Forum island countries. India wants to 
be an Indo-Pacific player, while the European Union is seeking a new relationship with island countries through 
a “post-Cotonou” treaty. Taiwan – aligned with host nation Tuvalu – seeks support for greater UN recognition, 

while the People’s Republic of China comes bearing gifts (and flexing its muscles, joining Indonesia to abstain 
from a recent resolution at the UN General Assembly on enhancing UN cooperation with the Forum). The United
 States is sending a large delegation to Funafuti, pledging its commitment to the region and hoping that people 
have forgotten President Trump is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
 
Meanwhile, island leaders have their own agenda and a number of sensitive topics to resolve.
 
Promoting the Blue Pacific
 
At the Apia leaders’ meeting in 2017, the Forum launched a “Blue Pacific” agenda, seeking to develop a regional 
program on development and sustainability in the ocean environment. This week’s meeting will discuss the 
development of a “2050 Blue Pacific Strategy”, to look forward on crucial issues around climate, ocean resources, 
maritime boundaries and fisheries.
 


Tuvalu’s nine atolls are just metres above sea level, and Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga will showcase climate 
change as the centrepiece of the meeting. On Monday, Tuvalu will host a Sautalaga dialogue on climate change, 
with experts addressing loss and damage, the 2018 IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C and the ongoing need for 
climate finance to address the adverse effects of climate change.
 
The Tuvalu government has long been promoting a Pacific Island Countries’ Climate Insurance Facility for Smaller 
Islands States (SIS), to develop regional insurance mechanisms and assist countries to deal with the effects of 
cyclones, disasters and the slow onset effects of global warming. The eight SIS leaders meet in caucus on 
Tuesday morning.
 
A high-level technical working group, including Cook Islands, Samoa, Palau, Fiji and New Zealand has also 
been refining a proposal for a Pacific Resilience Facility. This regional fund would allocate risk-financing to 
assist national governments, private sector and local communities to invest in resilience initiatives.  
 
Climate debates
 
Thursday’s leaders’ retreat, to be held at the Kainaki II Falekaupule (meeting house), will be a first for both 
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Both will no doubt contribute
 to the discussion in a lively manner!  
 
After recent visits to Fiji, Vanuatu, and Solomon Islands, Morrison is fond of talking about Australia’s “vuvale” (family) 
relationship with the Pacific. However, all Forum island countries are looking to widen the security agenda to take 
account of the existential threat of climate change. Last year’s summit in Nauru issued the Boe Declaration, which
 recognised that – amongst a range of traditional security concerns – climate change was “the single greatest threat 
to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific.”  
 
The Suva-based Forum Secretariat has now developed a draft Action Plan to implement the Boe Declaration. 
But already, the gap between island priorities and Australia’s position on climate action is widening.
 
Last month’s Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF) summit in Fiji issued the “Nadi Bay Declaration on the 

Climate Change Crisis in the Pacific.” As PIDF chair, Prime Minister Bainimarama will champion the declaration’s 
proposals for urgent action on the climate emergency, including calls for “coal producers to immediately cease 
any new mining of coal and develop a strategy for a decadal phase-out and closure of all existing coal production” 
and “to take immediate measures to relinquish the subsidies to fossil fuel production.”  
 
These are proposals that Canberra will not accept as Forum policy, with the Morrison government currently 
supporting local and overseas corporations to open up new coal fields in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
 
The Nadi Declaration also calls for “relevant parties to the Kyoto Protocol” (i.e. Australia and Russia) “to refrain 
from using ‘carryover credits’ as an abatement for the additional Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets.” 
Even before Prime Minister Morrison arrives in Tuvalu, this proposal has already been rejected by his government 
ministers.  
 
There are divisions too on climate finance. Tuvalu is one of many Forum island countries to benefit from funding 
from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a global mechanism to provide climate finance to developing countries for 
climate mitigation and adaptation. In Funafuti, island leaders will promote discussion about next year’s GCF 
replenishment round, seeking to top up the $10 billion fund with new finance from OECD nations. However, 
Australia and the United States have both announced that they will not contribute more funding to the GCF, 
despite pledges from past administrations.  
 
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made an unprecedented visit to the Pacific last May, as part of his 
agenda on UN reform and climate action. At their meeting in July, Forum Foreign Ministers recommended 
that “leaders issue a high-level statement or declaration on climate change for the UN Secretary General’s 
Climate Action Summit”, to be held in New York next month. But given the gulf between Australia and Forum i
sland countries on the need for greater action, a draft Forum declaration has already been through the wringer 
in several versions. Forum officials met this week in Suva to try and find compromise language to keep everyone 
happy, but it’s likely the problem will be handballed to the leaders.
 
Speaking to the plenary of the PIDF summit on 30 July, Prime Minister Bainimarama suggested there will be 
tough talk at the Forum: “We should not accept anything less than concrete commitments to curb greenhouse 
gas emissions in line with the most ambitious aspirations of the Paris Agreement. We cannot allow climate 
commitments to be watered down at a meeting hosted in a nation whose very existence is threatened by the 
rising waters lapping at its shores.”
 
Regional security
 
The legacies of nuclear testing, unexploded ordinance and marine pollution will be discussed again in Funafuti. 
Marshall Islands is concerned about new scientific studies showing ongoing radioactive contamination in foodstuffs 
in the RMI’s northern atolls, while Solomon Islands has been battling the devastation of an oil spill from a tanker 
accident in Rennell and Bellona. Tuvalu has declared the 50th Forum meeting as “plastics-free” to highlight the
damage to the marine environment of single-use plastics.
 
In July, Forum Foreign Ministers proposed further action on the radioactive legacies of nuclear testing. There
 were also tentative moves to investigate how the 1985 Rarotonga Treaty for a South Pacific Nuclear Free 
Zone might be modernised.
 
Once again, the Morrison government is taking a different position to most of Australia’s neighbours in the Pacific 
and ASEAN. Unlike New Zealand and many Forum island countries, Australia has refused to sign the new Treaty 
on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Last December, NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hosted a meeting 
of Pacific signatories, seeking to encourage more Forum member countries to sign and ratify the nuclear abolition 
initiative (The TPNW will enter into force with fifty ratifications, and is already halfway towards that number, with 
Samoa, Palau, Vanuatu, New Zealand and Cook Islands amongst the supporters).   
 
In Canberra, however, members of the Coalition government are promoting a Senate inquiry into establishing a 
nuclear industry in Australia. Senior security analysts have called for a debate over whether Australia should 
acquire nuclear weapons, concerned that the United States may one day withdraw its nuclear umbrella from 
Asia-Pacific allies. Given Australia is a signatory to the Rarotonga Treaty, which bans the development of 
nuclear weapons, it seems Canberra is once again swimming against the regional tide!  
 
At a time of growing trade and political tensions between the United States and China, Scott Morrison wants 
Australia to be recognised as the primary security partner for the region, and seeks further integration of the 
Australian and island economies. The Australian government has been promoting a new Pacific Fusion Centre 
and expanded support for maritime surveillance, police training and intelligence sharing, but other security and human 
rights concerns remain on the Forum agenda.  
 
Bougainville is moving towards a referendum on self-determination, and the French Pacific dependency of 
New Caledonia is likely to hold a second referendum in 2020 (newly elected President Thierry Santa will attend his
 first leaders’ meeting in Funafuti, seeking closer ties with independent neighbours).  
 
This week, however, discussion on decolonisation, sovereignty and human rights will focus on West Papua.  
 
With members like Australia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji pressing Indonesia’s case for sovereignty over West Papua, 
the Forum has focussed instead on promoting dialogue between Jakarta and the United Liberation Movement 
of West Papua, while calling for action on ongoing human rights violations by Indonesian police and military forces. 
With strong lobbying from Vanuatu Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu, the Forum Foreign Ministers 
Meeting recommended to “strongly encourage” Indonesia to finalise the timing of a visit to West Papua by 
the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
 
This debate on self-determination in Bougainville, Kanaky-New Caledonia and West Papua will continue 
beyond Funafuti, with Vanuatu scheduled to host the 2020 Forum on the 40th anniversary of its independence 
from Britain and France. Fiji has also put in a bid to host the 2021 summit, and so, after this week’s summit in 
Funafuti, regional debate on global warming will keep getting hotter.

SOURCE: ISLANDS BUSINESS/PACNEWS
 


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2)  TNI anticipates security disturbances in Papua ahead of Aug 17

11 hours ago


Chief of 1710 Mimika District Military Command Lt Col Pio L Nainggolan (center) (ANTARA News Papua/Evarianus Supar/RN)

Timika, Papua (ANTARA) - The Indonesian military (TNI) and Papua police will take necessary precautionary measures against security disturbances in the PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) mining area before Indonesia commemorates its 74th Independence Day anniversary on Aug 17.

The precautionary measures were deemed necessary since according to the intelligence agency's reports, there is a possibility of the armed Papuan rebels likely launching an attack on that day, Chief of 1710 Mimika District Military Command Lt Col Pio L. Nainggolan stated here on Saturday.

The areas under close monitoring of security personnel in their efforts to take precautionary measures against security disturbances would cover Tembagapura Sub-district in Mimika District and Mimika City and its outskirts, he noted.

To this end, the existing security posts will be strengthened, and the rebels' moves would be restricted, he noted, adding that the military and police will strive to ensure security to the local residents.

Related news: Indonesia condemns decision to award Benny Wenda

"Hence, the local residents are urged to remain calm," he noted. The security personnel are acquainted with the routes that the rebels generally take in the areas of Tembagapura Sub-district, including the Ilaga-Aroanop-Banti and Ilaga-Jila-Tsinga-Grasberg routes.

Nainggolan remarked that the security apparatus will also adopt precautionary measures on new routes possibly taken by them to reach the areas of Tembagapura where the PTFI conducts exploration of ore containing copper, gold, and silver in the Grasberg minerals district.

Speaking in connection with the possibility of Timika City and its outskirts also facing the threat of rebels, Nainggolan expressed optimism that they would not turn into a battleground for the rebel groups and Indonesian security personnel.

Related news: Armed Papuan rebels persistent challenge to Indonesia's security

Timika's areas have often been used by rebels as a place for obtaining logistics supplies, budget, and ammunition as well as transit points, he pointed out.

The Papuan armed separatists have repeatedly launched deadly attacks and killings over the past years.

On December 2, 2018, for instance, a group of armed Papuan rebels had brutally killed 31 workers from PT Istaka Karya, who were engaged in construction and building the Trans Papua project in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak in Yigi Sub-District, Nduga District.

The armed rebels, who launched the brutal killings, also killed a soldier named Handoko and injured two other security personnel: Sugeng and Wahyu.

Related news: Papua to send 20-ton rice to PNG's dual volcano victims

Related news: Soldier securing Trans-Papua road project dies of shot wound: mily

Reporter: Evarianus Supar, Rahmad Nasuti
Editor: Azizah Fitriyanti




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3) Ensuring RI's Independence Day celebrations run peacefully in Papua
9 hours ago

Indonesia's 74th Independence Day commemoration on August 17 in Papua is expected to run peacefully, but the potential threat posed by armed Papuan rebels looms large, considering the significance of that historic day for Indonesians.

The mining site of PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) in Tembagapura Sub-district, Mimika District, is one of the areas under strict surveillance of the Indonesian military and police.

Chief of 1710 Mimika District Military Command Lt Col Pio L. Nainggolan revealed on Saturday that precautionary measures will be taken against security disturbances in PTFI's mining area in the run-up to Aug 17.

The precautionary measures were deemed necessary since the intelligence agency's reports hint at a possibility of the armed Papuan rebels launching an attack on that day.

The areas to be closely monitored by security personnel in their efforts to take precautionary measures against security disturbances will cover Tembagapura Sub-district in Mimika District and Mimika City and its outskirts, he noted.

To this end, the existing security posts will be strengthened, and the rebels' moves would be restricted, he noted, adding that the military and police will strive to ensure security to the local residents.

"Hence, the local residents are urged to remain calm," he stated.

The security personnel are acquainted with the routes that the rebels generally take in the areas of Tembagapura Sub-district, including the Ilaga-Aroanop-Banti and Ilaga-Jila-Tsinga-Grasberg routes.

The security apparatus will also adopt precautionary measures on new routes possibly taken by them to reach the areas of Tembagapura where the PTFI conducts exploration of ore containing copper, gold, and silver in the Grasberg minerals district.

Speaking in connection with the possibility of Timika City and its outskirts also facing the threat of rebels, Nainggolan expressed optimism that they would not turn into a battleground for the rebel groups and Indonesian security personnel.

Timika's areas have often been used by rebels as a place for obtaining logistics supplies, budget, and ammunition as well as transit points, he pointed out.

The Papuan armed separatists have repeatedly launched deadly attacks and killings over the past years.

On December 2, 2018, for instance, a group of armed Papuan rebels had brutally killed 31 workers from PT Istaka Karya, who were engaged in construction and building the Trans Papua project in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak in Yigi Sub-District, Nduga District.

The armed rebels, who launched the brutal killings, also killed a soldier named Handoko and injured two other security personnel: Sugeng and Wahyu.

Acknowledging this grim reality, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja stated that the security disturbances, caused by the rebels, remain a persistent challenge for Indonesia's security apparatuses in the province.

In the first semester of 2019, at least 10 shooting incidents involving these armed separatists have occurred that claimed seven lives.

Five of the dead victims were soldiers, while two others were a policeman and civilian, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja stated on July 3, 2019.

The shooting incidents that took place in the working areas of the Puncak Jaya and Jayawijaya Police Precincts during the January-June period this year had also resulted in six soldiers and two policemen suffering from gunshot wounds.

Security disturbances still potentially recur, for which precautionary measures are necessary, particularly for securing this year's commemoration of Indonesian Independence Day on Aug 17 and the anniversary of the Free Papua Movement on Dec 1, he emphasized.

The commemoration of International Human Rights Day on Dec 10 and the Christmas celebrations on Dec 25-26 are other days that call for the need to take precautionary security measures, Rodja stated.

Related news: TNI anticipates security disturbances in Papua ahead of Aug 17

ANTARA noted that Rodja's predecessor, Inspector General Martuani Sormin, had, in fact, forecast that the armed Papuan rebels, or what the police term "armed criminal groups," or "KKB," would likely remain a serious security threat in certain areas of the central mountain range of the Indonesian province of Papua.

Sormin informed journalists early this year that the police had attempted to approach the armed groups to end the vicious circle of violence, but the effort proved to be futile.

However, he pointed to a reduction in security disturbances following the deployment of army and police personnel in the areas of the central mountain range that might potentially be targeted by the armed groups.

The governor and heads of districts are tasked with handling the administration of the areas, and without their support, the armed forces and police personnel could not have conducted their duties.

Hence, in dealing with such security threats, Sormin suggested to activate the "Regional Leadership Communication Forum," or "Forkopimda," so that necessary solutions can be sought jointly to tackle all problems arising in the regions.

Apart from the central and provincial governments' endeavors to persuade the rebels to end their acts of violence and return to their families to resume a normal life, the Free Papua Movement (OPM) has officially declared war against Indonesia.

The implication of this OPM's war declaration that its spokesman Jeffrey Bomanak made in Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea (PNG), on Jan 31, 2019, has prolonged a circle of violence.

It is the duty of the Indonesian security apparatuses to guarantee the safety and security of all Indonesians living in Papua, but it should also be followed by concrete and comprehensive measures of the central and provincial governments to bring prosperity to all components of society, particularly native Papuans. Related news: Soldier securing Trans-Papua road project dies of shot wound: mily

Related news: Indonesian police officer shot dead in Papua

Related news: Stop circle of violence in Papua


EDITED BY INE
 
By Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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