Vanuatu presented its draft UN Resolution for West Papua at the recent Pacific Islands Forum Officials Committee (FOC) Meeting and the Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting held at the Taumeasina Resort in Apia, Samoa from 7 to 10th August 2018.
This intervention to the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting this week was made by Vanuatu’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade — Ralph Regenvanu after Forum Officials Committee earlier at the FOC meeting considered the draft UN resolution and noted Vanuatu’s intention to submit the resolution at the United Nations General Assembly in 2019.
The Foreign Ministers Meeting noted the draft resolution to the United Nations General Assembly (‘Realisation of the right of the Papuan people to self-determination in the former colony of the Netherlands New Guinea (West New Guinea).
Recalling the Pacific Islands Leaders’ current position regarding Papua (West Papua), Vanuatu was able to receive support from member countries while Australia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji reportedly expressed their reservations for the draft resolution.
However, members of the PIF noted Vanuatu’s intention to take the resolution forward to the UNGA in 2019.
With the inclusion and support by Foreign Ministers for Vanuatu’s UN Resolution for West Papua in the outcomes from the Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting, Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai will now take the draft resolution to the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Summit to be held next month in Nauru.
Newly appointed Special Envoy for the Decolonisation of West Papua for Pacific Islands States, Lora Lini confirmed that at the recent PIFS meeting in Samoa, Leaders from some member countries have indicated to Vanuatu that they will raise this issue at the Leaders Summit in Nauru.