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Vanuatu laments lack of action on West Papua at UN

Radio New Zealand - September 27, 2021

Vanuatu's Prime Minister has told the United Nations about a lack of progress on human rights in West Papua.

Bob Loughman told the UN General Assembly that the indigenous people of West Papua continue to suffer human rights violations under Indonesian rule.

In recent years both the Pacific islands Forum and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of countries have sought UN scrutiny of the rights situation in Papua.

Both groups of countries had urged Indonesia to allow the UN Human Rights Commissioner's Office to visit Papua and provide an independent assessment.

"To date there has been little progress on this front," Loughman said. "I hope the international community, through appropriate UN-led process, takes a serious look at this issue and addresses it fairly."

Loughman also said he hoped the UN could help Vanuatu achieve a peaceful settlement in its dispute with France over the Matthew & Hunter islands.

The disputed islands lie between Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

"Recognising the incomplete process for the decolonisation of Vanuatu, we hope that the UN-led process grows a clear pathway to achieve peaceful settlement of these disputed islands," Loughman said.

Source: https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/452374/vanuatu-laments-lack-of-action-on-west-papua-at-u