Rabuka, Marape to lead West Papua talks

November 7, 2023 2:28 pm

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka [right] with James Marape [Photo: Supplied]

The Melanesian Spearhead Group has appointed Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and his Papua New Guinea counterpart James Marape as special envoys to Indonesia.

Their mandate is to meet with the President of Indonesia to discuss the pressing issue of West Papua.

This significant development emerged from today’s MSG Caucus meeting, during which Prime Minister Rabuka proposed sending a representative to Indonesia to facilitate dialogue on the West Papua situation.

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He emphasises that these efforts are an extension of his ongoing work to nurture the concept of the Pacific as a zone of peace.

Rabuka believes this initiative is a crucial step forward.

The MSG Caucus reached a consensus that sending a ministerial envoy, as opposed to a bureaucratic-level envoy, will be the most effective approach to addressing the West Papua issue.

This decision complements the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ 2019 resolution, which called for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct a mission to West Papua and the Papuan Provinces.

In earlier discussions at the MSG Leaders Meeting, it was agreed that the most appropriate forum for addressing human rights matters is the United Nations, specifically through the UN Human Rights Council.

This aligns with the position of PIF Member States, which also reaffirm Indonesia’s sovereignty over West Papua.

The MSG has actively pursued the implementation of PIF Leaders’ 2019 decision to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct a mission to West Papua and the Papuan Provinces.

The MSG remains committed to finding a peaceful and diplomatic resolution to the West Papua issue and looks forward to engaging in meaningful discussions with Indonesia to address this pressing concern.