Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke has welcomed the Pacific Islands Forum call for dialogue between Indonesia and pro-independence groups over the future of West Papua.
“It’s a huge step forward for the Forum to recognise that the conflict in West Papua is a Pacific issue,” said Mr Locke.
He congratulated Prime Minister Helen Clark for supporting the resolution.
“Just two weeks ago New Zealand wouldn’t support West Papua being on the agenda at the Forum. I got a cool response from Foreign Minister Phil Goff when I asked a question on this very issue in the House [October 18].
“New Zealand shouldn’t let the matter stop there. We should join Vanuatu and Nauru in supporting the Melanesian cause in West Papua,” he said.
“International pressure is needed to restrain Indonesia from clamping down on the West Papua independence movement. The Forum statement calling for differences over West Papua to be resolved ‘peacefully’ sends the right message to Indonesia,” said Mr Locke.