Jayapura, 23/3 (Jubi) – Geneva for Human Rights (GHR) has regularly conducted an expert meeting in each session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in order to promote the adoption of international standards of human rights.
The current theme of the Expert Meeting in 2014 was Indigenous Peoples: Towards the World Conference. The Expert Meeting was held to review some actions taken by the United Nations on the Indigenous People issue and the preparation of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, while its special goal was to alert some members of the UN Human Rights Council about the mechanism and standards of the international rights on indigenous peoples.
It is also aimed to share the expertise and experiences of the latest trends on the protection of indigenous peoples and to warn the participants about the main challenge in the preparation process of the word conference.
In the meeting, the Papuan indigenous people became a topic. A Papuan representative at the Expert Meeting held on 19 March 2014, Jeffrey Bomay, told Jubi many parties have supported the meeting including the UN Human Rights Council, the World Council of Churches (WCC) as well as representatives from Switzerland, Norway and Mexico. Among those participating in the meeting were Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, SG (WCC), Amb. Luis Alfonso de Alba (Mexico), John Henriksen (Norway), Penny Parker (Advocates for Human Rights), the representatives of UN Human Rights Council, David Matthey-Doret (DOCIP), Suhas Chakma, ACHR (India) dan Ngawang Drakmargyapon (UNPO).
Bomay said he got 18 questions related to the Papuan indigenous people. The representative of Norway asked about the history of West Papua, in particular about the Referendum of 1969 (Pepera). “I said Pepera should be examined by the international law because at that time Papua has been occupied by Indonesia. Pepera was held in 1969 while the mining contract with PT Freeport has been done since 1967, two years before it was conducted.
The Referendum has turned to be the root of the problem among Papuans who until today are rejecting its result because it wasn’t executed by the international procedure of ‘one person, one vote’, instead Indonesia conducted military repression over the Papuan people so the number of voters was only 1025,” said Bomay on Saturday.
He said Sri Lanka and Norway asked questions about the Special Autonomy in Papua, especially the Papuan people’s struggle to end discrimination. “I gave them a description that the Special Autonomy has produced 60 regencies in Papua and if approved by the National parliament the number will increase by 12. It does not make sense for Papua since its population is only 3.6 million compared with 1.2 million of Papuan indigenous people,” Bomay said.
He further said it has provided the opportunity to the population of Indonesia to come to Papua due to the region extension will require a lot of human resources while the Papuan indigenous people have not yet ready for it.
About the Expert Meeting, Geneva for Human Right said in an email to Jubi that the process of consultation with NGOs and Human Rights defenders who work under difficult conditions. They highlighted a priority towards the humanitarian law, macro-economic issues, and the fight against impunity to the protection of Human Rights defenders. “Even it raises a new concern in the collaboration with the GHR partners: the indigenous people rights and the violence against women. Those are priority specific issues in every GHR program,” GHR said. (Jubi/Victor Mambor)