Federal Republic of West Papua (Australia) is urging Australia to vote for a motion in the 2019 General Assembly to register West Papua on the UN Decolonisation List. The motion drafted by United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) is being raised by Vanuatu and is supported by the African, Carribbean and Pacific Group of States. It requires two-thirds majority support (129 of 193 member-states) so the votes of Australia and New Zealand are critical. At stake for Australia are the security implications of continuing to refute the West Papuans’ right of self-determination.
Campaign Co-ordinator NADINE RUTTER from Christchurch New Zealand was guest speaker at the FRWP Open Day on 7 April 2019. For the past twelve months she has been working in Vanuatu, where the fate of West Papuans is a top domestic issue for the people and a top foreign affairs issue for the government. “I find it difficult to accept that Australia and New Zealand care so little about West Papua, that trading with Indonesia cannot co-exist with supporting the West Papuans self-determination” (below, 3CR radio-interview with Nadine, 3 April 2019).
Below is an ACTIVIST’S KIT of online and downloadable information relevant to the registration of West Papua on the UN Decolonisation List. It includes an online/hard-copy petition; Pro-forma letter to politicians; Background information and supporting arguments for the motion (for printing as sticky labels for the back of 6×4″ postcards); and Jacob Rumbiak’s summary of West Papua as a Non-Self-Governing Territory between 1950 and 1962 (Jacob is Spokesperson of the ULMWP that drafted the motion and authorised the petition).
This petition is to spur the Australian government into voting for Vanuatu’s motion to list West Papua on the UN Decolonization Agenda during the 2019 UN General Assembly in September 2019. The petition can be signed online (at www.decolonizewestpapua.com) or offline (hard copy to be returned to the FRWP Office in Docklands by 31 July 2019).
In August 2019 we are printing the signatures, putting them in boxes, and transporting them to our Senate in Canberra. On Tuesday 17 September the Australian boxes are meeting the West Papuan boxes in the UN Cafe before the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York.
We want 1.8M signatures because we are trying to copy the West Papuans. In 2015 they collected 150,000 signatures and transported them in boxes to Honiara (Solomon Islands) where their application to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group was being considered. The application succeeded, the West Papuan independence movement formally recognised for the first time, or as the Papuans would say ‘we moved out of the darkness into the light’.
By 2017, the number of signatures had increased to 1.8M and the boxes, now weighing 40kgs, were presented to the President of the UN Decolonization Committee in New York on 30 September 2017 and the UN Human Rights High Commissioner in Geneva on 25 January 2019. Despite arrests and incarcerations, “the Papuans have come in numbers to express their hope for a better future” (Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to 2017 UN General Assembly). Given the commitment and sacrifice of 1.8M West Papuans (from a population of 2M) we believe that Australians, their closest neighbour, should be able to generate 1.8M signatures (from a population of 25M).
ONLINE PETITION (click and sign) http://www.decolonizewestpapua.com
PAPER PETITION (for download) https://dfait.federalrepublicofwestpapua.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Physical-petition-template.pdf
FOR FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS WITH POLITICIANS
PROFORMA LETTER TO YOUR FEDERAL POLITICIAN (click and ‘save as’) https://dfait.federalrepublicofwestpapua.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Proforma-letter-to-Members-of-Parliament.doc
POSTCARD (for printing 6×4″ postcard at Officeworks for $0.10 each https://dfait.federalrepublicofwestpapua.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/UN-Campaign-Photocard-front-blue-e1555471374601.jpg
STICKY LABELS (for back of postcard) https://dfait.federalrepublicofwestpapua.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/2019-UN-Campaign-Sticky-Labels.pdf
Sticky label text: Background informationThe New York Agreement (1962-1969) transferred the administration of West Papua from the Netherlands to Indonesia via the United Nations. Australia voted for the agreement, even though UN Representative and Attorney-General Garfield Barwick believed Indonesia’s claim of sovereignty should have been lodged with the International Court of Justice. He warned that “the long-term interests of stability and progress will be served by a bonafide performance of the Agreement’s self-determination provisions” (UNGA 1127th Plenary, 21 Sept 1962). Predictably, the Agreement’s concluding act-of-free-choice in 1969 was not an act of self-determination but an involuntary response by 0.1% of the population to a script written by the Indonesian government.
Special Autonomy (2001-2021) was peddled as ‘development’ but designed to eliminate the independence program (by trebling the number of regencies, from 14 to 41, each with a pre-scribed level of military personnel and hardware). In December 2018 Jakarta’s frustration with its inability to Indonesianize the Papuans escalated: the Indonesian Parliament declared war on West Papua’s Liberation Army; the Airforce dropped bombs of the banned chemical white phosphorous on a number of villages; the government banned local churches and NGOs from helping the villages with emergency food, water and medicine.
Since 2014 the United Liberation Movement for West Papua has coordinated the nation’s independence program. The ULMWP was elected from and is accountable to the nation’s key political identities—West Papua National Parliament, West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, Federal Republic of West Papua. Since its formation, West Papua’s case has been actively prosecuted by a coalition of Pacific states led by Vanuatu and the motion to register West Papua on the UN Decolonization List is supported by an increasing number of African, Caribbean, and Pacific states.
Sticky label text: Arguments for Australia to vote ‘Yes’
- The motion enables Australia to acknowledge that the chronic conflict between Indonesia and West Papuans is an international legal issue—not an internal domestic problem—that can now only be resolved with responsible third-party mediation.
- The motion liberates Indonesia from a quagmire of damaging allegations about its foundations in West Papua and its compulsion since to cohabit social-development programs and military-intelligence operations.
- The motion enables Australia and Indonesia to comply with both International law, including UN Res. 2625 (XXV), and Indonesian law which recognizes the inalienable right of nations to independence.
- The motion enables Australia to recognize West Papua as a geo-political entity separate to Indonesia without recalibrating its political, commercial and security arrangements with Indonesia.
- The motion enables Australia to fulfill its Third State Responsibility to question sovereignty where a people within a sovereign state are subject to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation or violations of their human rights.
The motion is critical because:
- The number of indigenous West Papuans has dropped from 99% of the population (in 1962) to 47% (in 2010) with an annual growth rate of 1.8% compared to the Non-Papuan (transmigrant) rate of 10.8%.
- Indonesia’s occupation of Melanesian West Papua has been a chronic thorn in relations between Australia and Indonesia; and is now scarifying relations with the Pacific, Caribbean and African States that are pursuing their legal and ethical responsibilities.
BRIEFING PAPER BY JACOB RUMBIAK (PDF)
Reflecting on 1st December 1961, West Papua’s self-determination as a Non-Self-Governing Territory https://dfait.federalrepublicofwestpapua.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/1-Dec-1961-West-Papuas-self-determination-as-a-Non-Self-Governing-Territory.pdf
CAMPAIGN MARKETING CARD
Campaign Marketing Card https://dfait.federalrepublicofwestpapua.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Campaign-cards.jpg
You can print 6×4″ copies of these cards at Officeworks for ten cents each (use ‘with border’ facility, and get Officeworks to guillotine).