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Self Determination is a Baasic Human Right

January 15, 2017

15th January 2017

The first sentence of the 1945 Constitution of Indonesia states
that ‘the right to independence is the basic right of all nations
which means that colonialism should be abolished throughout the

That sentence means that all those people who are still being
held under the control of any government should be granted the right
to self-determination.

It should therefore be understood by the Government of Indonesia
at the centre and down to the regions , including the Land of Papua,
that this right this is one of the most basic rights that it
guaranteed under international law, as is clear in the Universal
Declaration om Basic Human Rights and the UN Declaration of the Rights
of Traditional Peoples that was adopted in 2007.

More specifically, Article 3 of the UN Declaration on the Rights
of the Traditional Communities states that: ‘Traditional Communities,
states that: ‘Traditional Communities have the right to
self-determination, the right to autonomy or to self-government with
regard to affairs within their area which also includes finding the
means to finance their own autonomy.

All these rights were further reinforced by a UN resolution on The
Right to Self Determination, in accordance with an initiative by the
Pakistani ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Modi at the end of the year

Speaking as a lawyer and Defender of Human Rights in the Land of
Papua, I regard the birth of a UN Law on the Right to
Self-Determination as a great victory within the context of democracy
and peace for the protection of the human rights of all peoples in the
twenty-first century.

The UN Resolution regarding the Right to Self-Determination was
certainly planned [unfortunately the last line at the bottom of the
document is unreadable]

…. but it also provides the legal basis for the protection of
other nations throughout the world which have not yet had the
opportunity to determine there own future such as the Palestinian
people,, the Kannaky, Colony of France New Caledonia as well as the
Papuan people who for the past fifty years have been peacefully
struggling for their right to self determination.

In connection with all this, I called upon the Government of
Indonesia under President Joko Widodo to adopt a more lenient approach
towards the Papuan people who are peacefully struggling for their
right to self determination, and not to use the security approach
towards the Papuan people when the security forces resort to
physical violence armed with weapons all of which has the potential to
systematically violate their basic human rights.

A peaceful approach by means of dialogue between the Government
of Indonesia and the Papuan people including various organisations and
groups such as the ULMWP, KNPB, the OPM,the Papuan Presidium Council,
the WPNA, the WPNCL and the Papuan Women’s Solidarity is essential for
the government under President Joko Widodo.

And finally,the Indonesian Government should de-militarise the
whole of the territory of the Land of Papua by withdrawing all the
personnel and units of the military commands, both organic and

It is my opinion, as the recipient of the John Huimphrey
Award/Canada in 2005 taking the approach of dialogue is very
pressing as the correct way forward at this time, because such
elements are irrelevant to creating a peaceful and conducive situation
for holding a peaceful dialogue.


Yan Christian Waarinussy, Executive-Director of the LP3BH-Manokwari.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, 1995.

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