The plight of West Papuans as Melanesian citizens is an important issue that Vanuatu must continue to support.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, Ralph Regenvanu, made this clear in his keynote address yesterday to all Vanuatu’s Heads of Missions (HOM) who are currently in the capital for the 3-day 8th HOM meeting.
“The human rights violation and marginalization of Melanesian West Papuans is not a secret and we must continue to advocate for appropriate international attention to this situation,” he said.
“The incredible show of Pacific Island solidarity is a landmark moment in the West Papuan struggle for self-determination.”
The minister reflected that when he attended the 49th Forum Leaders Meeting in Nauru with Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, new priority regional policies were adopted by Leaders.
These include regional security, climate change and disaster resilience, fisheries and oceans, childhood obesity and non-communicable diseases, and West Papua.
It is anticipated that these issues will also form the basis for discussions at this year’s Forum.