Advocacy group condemns failure to address West Papua at Pacific Forum

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Raising the Morning Star flag of West Papuan independence alongside the flag of the colonial power The Netherlands in 1961
Flashback to the raising of the Morning Star flag of West Papuan independence alongside the flag of the colonial power The Netherlands in 1961. Image: Papua Voulken/Marinier Museum

Asia Pacific Report newsdesk

The Australia West Papua Association (AWPA) has condemned the absence of West Papua in last week’s Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) official communique, saying it was “greatly disappointed” that the human rights situation in the Indonesian-ruled Melanesian region had not been mentioned.

“It is understandable that the PIF has huge challenges in the region and in particular climate change. But for all the talk about inclusiveness it would appear West Papua is not a major concern for the Forum,” spokesperson Joe Collins said in a statement.

“The PIF could have shown solidarity with the Papuan people by a simple statement of concern about the human rights situation in West Papua (particularly as the situation continues to deteriorate).”

Collins called on the forum to continue to urge Jakarta to allow a fact-finding mission to the region.

“The leaders would have had the support of the people of the Pacific region in doing so,” he added.

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