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Support for West Papua ramped up ahead of Pacific leaders meeting

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As the clock ticks down to the annual meeting of Pacific Leaders next week in Tuvalu, West Papuan activists have ramped up their lobbying efforts to get Pacific countries to support a resolution on the proposed visit by the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, to investigate allegations of human rights violations in West Papua.

The head of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda has met with Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare as part of his campaign.

“Most of the Melanesian leaders they are concerned and they are willing to support. Because this issues never go away from the Melanesian leaders,” Mr Wenda said.

Pacific Island leaders will discuss a resolution that is calling for the UN Human Rights Commissioner to visit the Indonesian region of West Papua and investigate human rights allegations.

Indonesia issued an invitation to the UN earlier this year, but the visit has yet to eventuate.

The resolution, if adopted by Pacific leaders, would also encourage a deadline to be set for the timing of the visit, and a report on the situation, to be submitted at the 2020 Pacific Forum Meeting.

Vanuatu’s special envoy to West Papua, Lora Lini said Vanuatu had championed the resolution during Forum officials and ministers meeting last month in Fiji, which set the agenda for next week’s Forum.

“We are looking forward to the outcomes from the leaders communique from the prime ministers of the Pacific Islands Forum country and Vanuatu will take this resolution to UN General Assembly,” Ms Lini said.

Mr Wenda was accompanied by PNG Governor Powes Parkop on his visit to Honiara, although it isn’t clear if Mr Parkop was an official representative for the national government.

Duration: 5min 22secBroadcast: Thu 8 Aug 2019, 6:00am

Source: ABC Radio

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