The issue of West Papua, was raised by Vanuatu at the United Nations 72nd General Assembly with exchanges of the Right of Reply between Vanuatu and Indonesia.
Vanuatu Ambassador to the United Nations, Odo Tevi, made the following statement as Vanuatu exercised its Right of Reply to Indonesia on its recent statement.
“Vanuatu agrees with Indonesia that allegations, of flagrant, systematic and widespread Human Rights violations, negligence of civil, social and political, economic and cultural Rights cannot be taken lightly,” said Ambassador Tevi.
He said this is the basic reason why Vanuatu welcomed the news of the visit to Papua last year of the UN Special Rapporteur of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
“The Special Rapporteur was able to see with its own eyes that Papua was lacking behind other parts of Indonesia in many aspects. However, the former High Commissioner for Human Rights said in his last statement at the Human Rights Council that he was concern that despite positive engagement by the authorities in many respects, the Indonesia Government invitation to the office to visit West Papua was still not honored.
“Vanuatu would encourage Indonesia to renew its Invitation, this time to the new Human Rights Commission, to organize a visit to Papua by the Human Rights Commission, and to take place in the near future.
“This is important to provide an objective assessment of Human Rights issues in West Papua. It is also important for this body to know that Vanuatu is not alone in raising these concerns at the United Nations but other members as well.
“Historically, Vanuatu’s stand on Human Rights abuses, decolonization, and the wrong of apartheid has always been strong and for these reasons, Vanuatu will continue to do the same”, Ambassador Tevi concluded.
Indonesia’s response was published in the Daily Post yesterday.