The Australia West Papua Association congratulates the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Meg Taylor on her statement to the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council in February.
The Forum SG raised the issues of COVID-19, Climate Change and West Papua and pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic must not hinder efforts to address critical issues of concern.
In relation to West Papua she said the violent conflict and subsequent human rights violations in West Papua is of concern for the Pacific Island Forum Leaders for over 20 years. Her full statement at https://www.forumsec.org/2021/03/01/hrc46/
Joe Collins of AWPA said, "the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), the two main regional organisations in the Pacific are very important for the issue of West Papua." Pacific leaders regularly raise the issue of West Papua at the UN and other international fora, given credibility to the issue on the world stage and the reason Pacific leaders are regularly condemned by Jakarta for doing so.
AWPA believes "the human rights situation in West Papua is an issue of great concern for Pacific Governments and their people and has the potential to impact on relations between Australia and countries in the region. The Australia Government, instead of trying to keep West Papua of the agenda at the PIF, should support the PIF leaders in urging Jakarta to allow a PIF fact-finding mission to the territory.
It should also strenuously support the call by the PIF SG to the UN Human Rights Council.
"We call on distinguished Council Members to encourage all relevant parties to urgently facilitate a mission to West Papua by the High Commissioner for Human Rights. (PIF SG)