Amongst the many issues that Vanuatu along with other Pacific nations are advocating for a change and recognition, one of the many issues that Prime Minister Charlot Salwai also raised was West Papua, on his visit to Vatican.
He raised the issue on behalf of Pacific Islands Leaders when they met Pope Francis in Vatican, Italy, on Sunday.
He said, “Stronger and more decisive global and international politics is essential to tackle the increasingly diverse issues relating to human rights.
“On a related matter, may I take this opportunity to reflect on an issue close to my heart – that of the alleged violations of human rights in West Papua.
“We cannot continue to turn a deaf ear to the long-standing allegations of human rights abuses in West Papua.”
Speaking on behalf of Pacific leaders PM Salwai highlighted that in 2016, Pacific Islands Forum Leaders, in recognition of the importance of this issue, agreed that this issue remain on their agenda.
“Holy Father, at its core, Laudato Si urges the recognition of the vulnerable at all levels of society.
“The issue of West Papua continues to elude a formal international review mechanism because of the political sensitivities surrounding this issue and I must reaffirm the need for stronger and more decisive global politics to address the most critical issues that impact our societies and our people.”
Other issues the PM raised included the economy of Pacific states, poverty, and climate change.