Jayapura, Jubi – The Office of the Chair of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare has noted the statement by an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, Desra Percaya, in the local Indonesian media about the MSG and the plight of the peoples of West Papua.
Mr Percaya in his statement described the statement made last week by the MSG Chair and Solomon Islands Prime Minister supporting the granting of full MSG membership to the United Liberation Movement of West Papua as ‘opposed to the basic principles of sovereignty and non-interference as included in the agreement for the establishment of the MSG in 2007.’
The MSG Chair and Solomon Islands Prime Minister in that statement contained in a Media Release issued by the Prime Minister’s Press Secretariat stated that the granting of full MSG membership to the ULMWP (United Liberation Movement of West Papua) is justifiable as Indonesia has sought membership of the Melanesian bloc only to protect its own interest other than engage in dialogue about the serious human rights issues in West Papua.
The statement by the MSG Chair and Solomon Islands Prime Minister’s was prompted by Indonesia’s apparent rejection of a resolution reached at the 46th Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in 2015 for the deployment of a fact-finding mission in West Papua to assess the human rights situation there and the Indonesian President’s refusal of an offer for dialogue by the MSG Chair on the issue of West Papua.
In a statement issued today, the MSG Chair’s Special Envoy on West Papua, Mr Rex Stephen Horoi whilst the Office of the MSG Chair notes the statement by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs official, it would like to remind Jakarta that one of the key overarching principles of the MSG is the principle of Decolonisation of Melanesia.
“This is a fundamental principle that binds the Melanesian countries and all MSG members together. In this principle, MSG stands for its defense and promotion of independence as the inalienable right of indigenous peoples of Melanesia,” Mr Horoi said.
The MSG Chair’s Special Envoy on West Papua said the Office of the MSG Chair notes the fundamental respect for human rights that is directly entwined with the responsibility as nation states to protect their citizens.
He said the Office of the MSG Chair would therefore like to send an invitation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia to a dialogue on these points and others raised in the appropriate forum.
Adding on to the statements made by Mr Horoi, the Secretary to the MSG Chair, Mr Rence Sore said the Office of the MSG Chair would like to remind the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry that the ULMWP together with Indonesian Government are members of the MSG.
In this context, Mr Sore reiterated the offer by the MSG Chair, Prime Minister Hon Sogavare to the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, to discuss matters of common interest within the space provided by the MSG.
He said the Office of the MSG Chair maintains that Indonesia’s refusal to meet the MSG Chair showcases that Jakarta’s intention of joining the MSG is merely to protect its own interest other than engage in dialogue about the serious human rights issues in West Papua. (Victor Mambor)