Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Rabuka, Marape for West Papua talks with Indonesia

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and his PNG Counterpart James Marape have been appointed as ‘Special Envoys’ to Indonesia to discuss pressing issue surrounding West Papua.

The two leaders, mandated by the  Melanesian Spearhead Group are to travel to Indonesia and meet with Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo.

In a statement, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka proposed to the Group’s Caucus Meeting to send a representative to Indonesia to facilitate dialogue on the issues of human rights violation against West Papua.

Rabuka said these efforts are an extension of his ongoing work to nurture the concept of the Pacific as a zone of peace.

The Prime Minister said that he believed that this was a crucial step forward.

The MSG Caucus reached a consensus that sending a ministerial envoy, as opposed to a bureaucratic-level envoy, would be the most effective approach to addressing the West Papua issue.

This decision complements the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders’ 2019 resolution, which called for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct a mission to West Papua and the Papuan Provinces.

In earlier discussions at the MSG Leader’s Meeting, it was agreed that the most appropriate forum for addressing human rights matters is the United Nations, specifically through the UN Human Rights Council.

This aligns with the position of PIF Member States, which also reaffirm Indonesia’s sovereignty over West Papua.

The MSG has actively pursued the implementation of PIF Leaders’ 2019 decision to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct a mission to West Papua and the Papuan Provinces.

The MSG remains committed to finding a peaceful and diplomatic resolution to the West Papua issue and looks forward to engaging in meaningful discussions with Indonesia to address this pressing concern.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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