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Government Plans International Symposium For West Papua

Ilustrasi (foto,Google)
By : Winston Tarere #

Vanuatu will host an international symposium for the people of West Papua in Vanuatu. This was confirmed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Edward Nipake Natapei to Daily Post while in Fiji recently on the Forum Ministerial Contact Group (MCG) visit to Fiji.

“The government is prepared to host all the different groups in and outside West Papua that claim to represent the people of West Papua and their cause.”

“At the moment we do not have the funds yet. But when we get the funds, we will invite them all to come,” the deputy leader of government said.

The Vanuatu government in-line with its parliamentary mandate will act as a neutral environment where all the different groups can come and sit together under one roof and to try to look beyond their differences and unite behind issues of common interests that can provide ways forward for the people and their cause regionally and internationally.

It is the hope of the government that any resolutions coming out of the meeting can be presented under a single umbrella body that is truly representative of the Papuan people.

“This has been one of the issues behind the deference of application for membership of one of the groups into the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG),” Natapei said.

Natapei hinted that the motive behind the hosting of such a symposium is to providean alternative opportunity to address the failure of the MSG Foreign Affairs Minister's Fact Finding Mission to West Papua, which failed to meet the people, members of civil society and hear their views.

The Vanuatu government boycotted the MSG fact finding mission because it was in its opinion, not designed to fulfill the mandate given by the leaders summit in New Caledonia, which was to get the views of the Papuan people on the application of one of the groups to become a member of MSG.

“The main reason behind Vanuatu pulling out from the mission was because when we received the program at the last minute, we saw that it would not achieve the mandate of the trip,” Natapei said.

Minister Natapei said the MSG meeting to review the trip to West Papua in Vanuatu was delayed because Fiji does not want it hosted by Vanuatu. However the Chairman of the MSG of Kanaky has announced the meeting will be held not at the MSG headquarters in Vila but on the island of Santo.

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