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Answer Dutch Min. of FA about the marginalisation of Papuans

March 7, 2013

6 March 2013

Herewith I present you the answers to the written questions posed by Members
of Parliament Van der Staaij (SGP-Party), Voordewind (CU-party), De Roon (PVV-
party), Ten Broeke (VVD-party), Maij (PvdA-Party) and Van Bommel (SP-Party)
concerning the marginalisation of Papuans socially and economically.

These questions were sent on 11 February 2013 by number 2013Z02692.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs
Frans Timmermans
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Written questions from the Members of Parliament Van der Staaij (SGP-Party),
Voordewind (CU-party), De Roon (PVV-party), Ten Broeke (VVD-party), Maij
(PvdA-Party) and Van Bommel (SP-Party) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
about the marginalization of Papuans both socially and economically.

Question 1.

Have you taken notice of reports stating that Papuans are said to be
marginalized in Indonesia during the exploitation of natural resources in
their province? 1)

Answer

Yes

Question2.

Is it correct that substantial development programmes are being started in
Papua, during which considerable numbers of immigrants are being sent to
Papua?

Answer

Regarding food and energy supplies, Indonesia makes development programs, also
in the Papua province. Herewith, Indonesia does not conduct transmigration
policy. For the development programs in Papua and West-Papua especially non-
locals are hired, as they have more capacities and education.

Question 3.

To what extent does the indigenous people benefit from the development
programmes mentioned above?

Answer

The development programs are meant for the benefit of the entire population.
The Indonesian authorities strive to involve the local population with these
programs. Late 2011 a special unit (UP4B) was established in order to speed up
economic development. This unit coordinates the social-economic development of
Papua.

Question 4.

In which way are private grounds of Papuans being legally protected and how
does this legal protection take effect?

Answer

With the Special Autonomy Law for the provinces of Papua and West-Papua the
so-called Majelis Rakyat Papua (MRP) was founded. The MRP consists of
representatives of indigenous Papuans and monitors the respectation and
protection of indigenous culture and customs. When treaties with third parties
are made, national and provincial authorities have to consult the MRP whether
the rights of indigenous Papuans are at stake. Subsequently the MRP has to
agree with such a treaty. In practice, this consultancy obligation is not
always lived up to. When land is being transferred the community has to
approve and will have to be compensated. The Special Autonomy Law furthermore
dictates that local arrangements are made by the provincial authorities in
cooperation with the provincial parliament and the MRP for economic activities
where natural resources are at stake. So far these local arrangements have not
been made. During a recent visit of the Embassy to Papua we urged again for a
full implementation of the Special Autonomy Law.

Question 5.

Can you indicate how The Netherlands may contribute to an improvement of the
situation of Papuans, how can you as a Minister contribute to that and which
multilateral means do you have?

Answer

During my visit to Indonesia (February 20-21 last) I spoke to the Indonesian
Minister of Foreign Affairs about the situation in Papua. On March 1st I met
Bambang Darmono, the chief of the established unit by the Indonesian
president, for the accelerated development of Papua. Herewith I emphasized the
importance of transparency and I urged for a more liberal admittance of
international NGO’s to the area. I also stressed that The Netherlands are
willing to contribute to the improvement of the social-economic position of
Papuans. Right now, The Netherlands support, among others, a UNICEF
development program and a UNDP program aimed at the improvement of the
capacity of local governments, so that they are more capable of making their
budgets and planning based on the actual needs of the population.

1) Daily newspaper Reformatorisch Dagblad, 4 February 2013

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