Full membership for ULMWP amongst agenda for MSG Leaders’ Summit

An agenda for the upcoming Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders’ Summit in the Papua New Guinea capital Port Moresby is a motion for the elevation of the membership of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua’s (ULMWP’s) membership of the MSG.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, who is the current Chair of the MSG, made the assurance when a delegation of ULMWP leaders met with him in Port Vila yesterday requesting him to favourably consider two issues for addressing by the MSG.

The issues are the granting of full MSG membership to ULMWP, which currently holds an Observer Status, and MSG’s pursuit of an urgent intervention by the United Nations in West Papua to neutralise the genocides committed against humanity in West Papua by Indonesia.

The delegation expressed its highest appreciation to Prime Minister Sogavare for the MSG’s accordance of Observer Status to ULMWP upon taking up the MSG Chairmanship position in June 2015.

However, it said since the ULMWP was granted an Observer status of the MSG, the situation in West Papua became tenser, leaving the indigenous people now at the brink of extinction.

It said this situation has prompted it to bring their two-point petition for consideration by Prime Minister Sogavare as Chair of the MSG to take aboard as matters of priority for the MSG to address.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the fresh accounts of an ever-increasing rate of genocides in West Papua relayed to him by the delegation in their meeting with him only confirms the ongoing stories of atrocities committed against West Papuans for the last 50 years.

He said as the Chair of the MSG, he will allow the proposed motion by his Vanuatu counterpart Prime Minister Charlot Salwai has his full backing and will be tabled for discussion during the MSG Leaders’ Summit.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the Vanuatu Prime Minister told him that he will be traveling to New Caledonia next week to meet with the Spokesman of the FLNKS Mr Victor Tutugoro in an effort to also secure his for the support for the motion.

On the issue of urgent UN intervention in West Papua, Prime Minister Sogavare said Indonesian President’s apparent rejection of the resolution reached by the Pacific Islands Forum leaders in Port Moresby in 2015 for the deployment of a fact-finding mission in West Papua as well as the Indonesian President’s refusal to meet with him in his capacity as the MSG Chair to explain the position of the MSG on the issue of West Papua are very strong grounds warranting the MSG to take the matter up to the next notch which is the United Nations.

He said Indonesia was granted Associate membership of the MSG to allow for dialogue between Jakarta and the MSG Leaders on the issue of West Papua and the Indonesian President’s refusal of my request to meet with him regarding MSG’s position on West Papua is a clear indication that it has another reason for joining the MSG.

Prime Minister Sogavare said Indonesia’s refusal of his request for dialogue gives him all the reason to take this matter back to the MSG, adding that ‘Indonesia has crossed the line so we need to take some tough stance.”

The membership of the delegation of ULMWP leaders who met with Prime Minister Sogavare includes Jacob Rumbiak, Andy Ayamiseba and Edison Waromi, Mama Yosepha Alomang. The delegation was accompanied by members of the Free West Papua Association in Port Vila.

The delegation came to Port Vila-the initially planned venue for this year’s MSG Leaders’ summit- with intention of presenting the two-point petition to the MSG Leaders.

However due to the change of venue and dates for the summit as well as the opportunity accorded to them by Prime Minister Sogavare’s presence in Port Vila for the 2023 Pacific Games Bid presentation, the delegation met with him and presented their petition to him.