UN votes for better cooperation with PIF but China, Indonesia abstain

On Pacific Beat with Catherine Graue

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With a week to go until the annual Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ meeting in Tuvalu, the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution on enhancing the UN’s cooperation with the Pacific Islands Forum — the region’s peak body.

The vote was carried with 137 members in favour, and none voted against it.

But there were 12 abstentions, and among those countries which chose not to vote were China and Indonesia, who are both high-level partners of the Pacific Islands Forum.

The full text of the resolution is yet to be released but in a statement, the UN said the General Assembly urged the UN and the Pacific Islands Forum to strengthen their joint pursuit of sustainable development outcomes, while also underlining the need for coherent approaches to build resilience to to extreme weather in the region.

Similar resolutions have been adopted in the past — the last was in 2017.

The resolution follows the historic visit by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to the Pacific in May, when he met with Forum leaders.

According to the UN’s statement on the resolution, China’s representative said the negotiation’s coordinator had failed to consider his delegation’s contributions and the concerns of other states, which is why China abstained.

Indonesia’s representative said his delegation abstained for several reasons, one of which was the resolution’s reference to the 2017 PIF communique.

Indonesia’s representative also said he regretted that one member of the Pacific Islands Forum continued to interfere with Indonesia’s domestic affairs, which is likely a reference to Vanuatu, which is the most vocal supporter of the West Papuan independence cause in the Pacific Islands Forum.Duration: 4min 19secBroadcast: Tue 6 Aug 2019, 6:00am

Source: ABC Net

*** 50 Years since the Act of free Choice ***

“it was just a whitewash. The mood at the United Nations was to get rid of this problem as quickly as possible, Nobody gave a thought to the fact that there were a million people there who had their fundamental human rights trampled. Suharto was a terrible dictator. How could anyone have seriously believed that all voters unanimously decided to join his regime? Unanimity like that is unknown in democracies.”

– Chakravarthy Narasimhan, the U.N. undersecretary general who handled the Act of free choice.

Indonesia claims sovereignty over West Papua with the 1969 Act of free choice. It has since been widely accepted that Indonesia’s claim to rule West Papua is based on fraud and lies and that the Act of free Choice was illegal under international law.

For a full legal analysis of the Act of free choice please read this report.

West Papua has a legal right to self determination, decolonisation and independence if the people freely and fairly choose it.

An internationally supervised referendum on independence is the peaceful and dignified solution for West Papua.


A peaceful prosperous future await us if we overcome fear!

Today was a milestone for the campaign for Free West Papua. Accompanying the Chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua Mr Benny Wenda we meet with Prime Minister Hon. Manaseh Sogovare of the Solomons and the Opposition leader Hon. Mathew Wale.

Both leaders are strong advocates of the plight of our people of West Papua and the for the campaign for Free Papua. We come away hearten by their conviction and sympathy for our people of West Papua.

We left them with a message and plea to be courageous, brave and fearless!

Fear has been the basis of policies of all the countries for the last 57 years including Indonesia and this policy has failed to solve the crisis in West Papua nor has it improve the lives of our people. It’s a failed policy!

When we overcome fear, be courageous and fearless we will secure a more peaceful and prosperous future that will benefit our region including Indonesia.

Tonight we meet with all the Activist from the West Papua Solidarity network; Wansolwara network for West Papua and civil society leaders and activist. We both feel inspired and confident that the campaign for Free West Papua will reach a tipping point soon.

We salute you all our people of the Solomons!