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AWPA letter to Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders

May 12, 2015

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088

Media release 12 May 2015

AWPA letter to Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders

The Australia West Papua Association in Sydney has written to the MSG leaders on the issue of West Papua (letter below).

Joe Collins of AWPA said "by giving West Papua a voice at the MSG, it will empower the West Papuan people in international fora, given them a voice in raising their concerns in the international community and with the Indonesian Government. AWPA believes it is time for West Papua to join the Melanesian family of the MSG. This inclusion would help in solving one of the longest ongoing conflicts in the Pacific region".

The MSG leaders would also have the support of their people in granting West Papua MSG membership. Support by civil society and church groups for West Papuan joining the MSG continues to grown in all the MSG countries.

It should also be remembered that West Papua has always been considered part of the Pacific Community. Netherlands New Guinea, as West Papua was then known, was a member of the South Pacific Commission (SPC), a forerunner to the other regional organization, the Pacific Islands Forum. A West Papuan representative attended the first SPC Conference and West Papuans continued to participate in the SPC meetings until the Dutch ceded their authority to the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) in 1962.


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