Pacific Scoop

NZ, Australian human rights groups call for UN probe on West Papua

West Papuan protest

West Papuan protesters picket the Pacific Islands Forum summit hotel venue yesterday. In the centre is Paula Makabory. Photo: Henry Yamo / PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – by Alex Perrottet

Fifteen human rights and social justice movements based in Australia and New Zealand today called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to immediately appoint a special United Nations representative to investigate the alleged human rights violations in West Papua and its political status.

Representatives of the groups, meeting at the at Nga Wai o Horotiu marae at AUT University for the past two days, have called for Ban to follow up on his statements yesterday at a joint press conference with NZ Prime Minister John Key.

Replying to a media question, Ban had said that that the West Papua issue should be discussed by the Decolonisation Committee of the UN General Assembly. This comment has encouraged the supporters of West Papuan independence.

PIF 40 years logo“Whether you are an independent state or a non-self governing territory or whatever, the human rights is inalienable and a fundamental principle of the United Nations,” Ban said.

He also said he would “do all to ensure” that human rights were respected in West Papua.

The group’s statement also called for the UN to “persuade the Indonesian government to allow free access to West Papua for media representatives from the international community and for non-governmental human rights organisations.”

In support of the requests of Dr John Ondawame, spokesperson for the West Papuan People’s Representative Office in Vanuatu, the statement requests the New Zealand government “play a role in mediating and beginning the process of peaceful dialogue between West Papuan representatives and the Indonesian government”.

‘Cease military ties
The statement called on the proposed UN special representative to “review the circumstances and outcome of the 1969 ‘Act of Free Choice’” that enabled Indonesia to assert political control of the former Dutch colony.

It also demanded that New Zealand “cease all military ties with Indonesia” until human rights began to be respected in West Papua.

Today, as the support for West Papua seems to have gained momentum, the participating organisations in support of West Papua called for the Pacific Islands Forum to grant observer status to West Papuan representatives and support their right to self-determination.

They also encouraged everyone in society to “take every opportunity to support West Papuans working for peace, justice, human rights and environmental sustainability”.

Alex Perrottet is contributing editor of Pacific Media Watch and chief reporter of the Pacific Media Centre’s Forum reporting team.

Participating organisations are:
New Zealand-based non-government organisations:
Bicultural Desk of the Auckland Catholic Diocese
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, Christian World Service
Coalition for Democracy in Fiji
Indonesia Human Rights Committee
Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand
Peace Movement Aotearoa
Philippine Migrant Centre
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Aotearoa Section
Australian non-governmental organisations:
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
Institute of Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights,
Medical Association for Prevention of War
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Justice and Peace Centre (Australian Province)
Pax Christi Australia
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Australia Section.

Earlier story

Full statement


  1. Richardrumaropen, 8. September 2011, 20:06

    Internasional world must be now.west papua many-many problem every time,UN NATION under MR Ban kin mon please helps west papuans people.

  2. Sebast tatogo, 9. September 2011, 4:08

    First of all, we would like to say our grateful for the afforts done by 18 non-government organizations in Australia, Newsealand and Pasific Islands. May the Almighty God bless you always in your daily life and jobs. Papuans are the victims of the on going process of genoside, killing, intimidation and other brutal actions which are being done by Indonesian military to the people of West Papua since the annexation of Papua into Indoneia.
    The land of West Papua must be given itts independence.

  3. Sebast Tatogo, 9. September 2011, 4:32

    First of all, we would like to say thanks to 18 non-government organizations for your afforts of being care of suffering of the People of West Papua since annexation of West Papuan independence by USA,Dutch,UN and Indonesian government.
    International community have to know that people of West Papua are the victims of the on going process of genocide, killing, intimidation, military operation and other crime actions which are being done by Indonesian military on the land of West Papua since the illegal integration of West Papua into Indonesia.
    The people and the land of West papua must be freed by giving the fredoom for West Papua. Thank you your support.


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  5. Yufwespalan wendanak, 12. September 2011, 3:36

    We are from western Papua youth with a heart full of very supportive and grateful to all the supporters who called for the issue of human rights violations in West Papua at the international level and we hope that this issue should be discussed at the annual session of the UN.