Statement by Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive Director of LP3BH in Manokwari on 24 August 2012



News has recently been circulating that the Political Status of the Land of Papua has been placed on the agenda of the General Assembly of the United Nations to be held in September in New York.

This information has been circulating through SMS messages on mobile phones to Papuan communities throughout West Papua. This information has raised many questions and feelings of concern among Papuan people.

Warinussy said that as the Executive Director of the LP3BH, the news which was being circulated is completely false.

The truth is that it is the session of the UN Human Rights Council that has on its agenda the problem of the Structural and Systematic Violation of Human Rights in West Papua at its session in Geneva, Switzerland which involves the Indonesian army and police force.

The fact is that the Indonesian government has been confronted by very strong criticisms from almost all the members of the UN Human Right Council. Altogether 179 important recommendations have been directed against Indonesia and Indonesia has been given time to consider these recommendations in relation to its overall policy and urged to find an approach to handle the various social, cultural, economic and political problems in West Papua.

The UN General Assembly is the top-level institution of the United Nations, while it is at the UN Human Rights Council that facts about human rights violations will be an important item on its agenda. It is hoped that this important agenda item will lead to a decision calling on the Indonesian Government to deal with the problem of human rights violations.

This makes it quite clear that the matter that has been placed on the agenda is the question of Human Rights and has nothing to do with the question of political status but relates to the question of human rights.

It was at the Second Papuan Congress held in May 2000 that the question of the revision of Papuan history was raised and it was the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban ki-Moon who said in Auckland, New Zealand on 7 September 2011 that such a matter would have to be discussed by the Decolonisation Committee which is an organ under the authority of the UN General Assembly.

In other words, the Papuan political elite, whether they like it or not, must understand that the question of being a non-self-governing territory must be handled by the UN in accordance with its established mechanisms.

I would like to remind all Papuan leaders that not a single country around the world has expressed political support for the independence of West Papua and this has not been placed on the agenda of the UN. Why is this so? Such a move would have to be made by an independent country such as Australia, New Zealand, Timor-Leste, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, PNG or Vanuatu.

In my opinion, the best thing would be for we Papuans, especially our political elite, to unite behind a single vision and to learn from our fellow Melanesians on how they struggled to fight around the question of their political status, so that we would achieve the right to self-determination and hold a referendum by 2014.

[Translated by TAPOL]