Locke applauds Forum concern for West Papua

Green MP Keith Locke is calling on Indonesia to enter into a dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum over the administration and future of West Papua, following the concern over the region expressed in the Forum’s final communiqué.

“The Forum’s concern for peace in West Papua will help stay the hand of the Indonesian military,” said Mr Locke, the Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson.

“The communiqué also asked Indonesia to ‘bring to justice’ those who have violated human rights in West Papua. These should include those responsible for murdering Papuan leader, Theys Eluay in November 2001.

“The forum rightly says that Indonesia has yet to properly ‘give effect to special autonomy’.

“The West Papuan delegation lobbying the forum pointed to shortcomings in Indonesia’s ‘special autonomy’ package, and the proposed division of West Papua into three administrative regions, over the objections of the West Papuans themselves.

“The communiqué gives a mandate to the Forum secretariat to engage with Indonesia, the post-Forum dialogue with Indonesia, and beyond.”

Mr Locke is also encouraging the New Zealand government to take its own initiatives.

“One thing we could do is get the UN to review its support for the 1969 so-called ‘Act of Free Choice’, in which a few hand-picked Papuans allowed their country to be incorporated into Indonesia,” said Keith Locke.