Pacific Media Watch

3 October 2013

VANUATU: PM urges UN to investigate human rights abuses in West Papua

Hero image
Prime Minister of Vanuatu Moana Carcasses Kalosil raised the question of West Papua's status during the UN General Assembly. Image: UN Photo / Ryan Brown

AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch / UN News Centre / Daily Post): Prime Minister of Vanuatu Moana Kalosil Carcasses has called on the United Nations to appoint a special representative to investigate alleged human rights abuses in the Indonesian-ruled region of West Papua and its political status.

Carcasses said West Papuans had been consistently denied any sort of recognition by the world body.

“We are now deliberating on the issue of Syria, but when it comes to the issue of the rights of the people of West Papua, our voices are muted even on this podium,” Prime Minister Moana Carcasses told the United Nations General Assembly’s annual general debate recently.

Carcasses asked how international society could “ignore hundreds of thousands of West Papuans who have been brutally beaten and murdered”.

“The people of West Papua are looking to the UN as a beacon for hope… Let us, my colleague leaders, with the same moral conviction, yield our support to the plight of West Papuans.

“It is time for the United Nations to move beyond its periphery and address and rectify some historical errors,” Carcasses said.

‘Ignorant’ UN
The ni-Vanuatu Prime Minister said West Papua was “the victims of ignorance of the UN”.

“It is clear from many historical records that the Melanesian people of West Papua were the scapegoat of Cold War politics and were sacrificed to gratify the appetite for the natural resources which this country possesses,” Carcasses said.

In May, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay voiced concern over a crackdown on mass demonstrations in West Papua and called on the Indonesian government to allow peaceful protests and hold accountable those responsible for the violence.

“There has not been sufficient transparency in addressing serious human rights violations in [West] Papua,” she said.

During the crackdown, Indonesian police shot and killed two protesters on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the former Dutch New Guinea, occupying the western half of New Guinea Island, becoming part of Indonesia.

At least 20 protesters were arrested, many for raising the pro-independence Morning Star flag, Vanuatu’s Daily Post reported.

Creative Commons Licence

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand Licence.

Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators. (cc) Creative Commons