Vanuatu’s prime minister has again pressed the United Nations General Assembly over human rights abuses in West Papua.
During his speech in New York, Charlot Salwai lamented how some Pacific territories are yet to break the shackles of colonialism.
Mr Salwai cited France’s territories of New Caledonia and French Polynesia, as well as Indonesian-ruled West Papua.
He called on the administering powers to respect UN processes and ensure people in these territories can have their self-determination views heard.
Mr Salwai called for use of the UN system to find solutions to violations of West Papuans’ human rights.
“The resolution of the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum calls on the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit West Papua to conduct an assessment based on concrete proof regarding the human rights situation.”
Rayyanul Sangadji, a junior Indonesian diplomat from Ambon, Maluku, exercised the country’s right of reply to Vanuatu’s statement.
“As an Indonesian with Melanesian roots, I can tell you we do not like to be clustered, categorised, or worse, divided by another, faraway country,” he said.
“Papua is, has [been] and will always be, part of Indonesia.”