National Capital District Governor, Powes Parkop has commended PNG Prime Minister, James Marape for raising the West Papua issue in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last Friday while respecting the sovereignty of Indonesia.
Governor Parkop, a strong advocate for the rights of the people of West Papua, said it was a milestone despite PM Marape raising it in a very diplomatic and subtle way.
PM Marape told world leaders at the UNGA: “Whilst commending the UN on the peace efforts in Papua New Guinea, I would also like to recall the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ decision in 2019 and the outstanding visit by the UN Human Rights mechanism to address the alleged human rights concerns in our neighbourhood.
“This visit is important to ensure that the greater peoples of the region have peace within their respective sovereignties and their rights and cultural dignities are fully maintained.”
Governor Parkop said what PM Marape had done was a milestone in that no past PNG leader had raised the West Papua issue at the UNGA.
“What PM Marape has done, in a very subtle and diplomatic manner, was to raise the issue of West Papua while respecting the sovereignty of Indonesia,” he said.
Governor Parkop also called Pacific Island Forum and the United Nations Human Rights Commission to keep applying the pressure on Indonesia to allow the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights to visit West Papua to verify the many allegations of human rights abuses.
Governor Parkop also called on the Melanesian Spearhead Group to initiate a process to enable meaningful dialogue between the West Papuan Leadership and Indonesia Government to address the demand and aspirations of the people of West Papua to self determination and independence.
“This is the fundamental issue that must be addressed sincerely and adequately. As long as this pertinent issue is not openly discussed and resolved there will always be crisis and instability in West Papua,” he said.