West Papua Summit, Port Vila, Vanuatu, 16 Nov-1 Dec 2007

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Unity Day Declaration, West Papua Summit, Port Vila, Vanuatu, 16 Nov-1 Dec 2007

UNITY DAY DECLARATION, WEST PAPUA SUMMIT, VANUATU, 16 NOV-1 DEC 2007.

A two-week summit in Vanuatu culminated in the signing of a ‘Unity Day Port Vila Vanuatu Declaration’ by the Maraki Vanuariki Council of Chiefs, the Port Vila Council of Chiefs, and the West Papua National Authority on 29 November 2007 which holds the Vanuatu Government and Parliamentary Opposition Group responsible for:

  • Sponsoring West Papua onto the United Nations Decolonization List in 2008.
  • Facilitating a United Nations monitored self-determination referendum for West Papua.
  • Facilitating a peace-keeping force in West Papua before and after a referendum.
  • Listing West Papua as a full participant of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), and an observer at the Pacific Islands Forum and the Africa Caribbean Pacfici Group.
  • Hosting a Peace Conference between the Indonesian Government and the West Papua National Authority in Vanuatu in February 2008.

These resolutions reflect the resolve of the Melanesian nations of the Pacific to nurture West Papuan aspirations for justice and peace and independence from the Indonesia. They will facilitate the development of good relations between Australia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. They should dampen the support of regional governments for Indonesia’s ‘Special Autonomy’ (and increasing militarization of West Papua).

PHOTO ESSAY BY TOMMY LATUPEIRISSA; TEXT BY LOUISE BYRNE

1. Maraki Vanuariki Chief Morris Kaloran organising at the summit venue, an old kava-storage shed after permission to use the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs’ traditional building for ceremony and governance was controversially withdrawn a few days before the summit.

2. Summit participants prayed for Maluku’s liberation from Indonesia as well as West Papua’s.


3. Abel David (Maraki Vanuariki Council of Chiefs) opens the two-week summit.

4. Ned Byrne from West Papua Asia Network.

Chief Shem Rarua (Spokesperson, Maraki Vanuariki Council of Chiefs), Organising the agenda of the summit.5. Chief Shem Rarua (Maraki Vanuariki Council of Chiefs) organising the summit agenda.

6. Maraki Vanuariki Council of Chiefs waiting for the West Papua National Authority delegates who’d been detained in Suva by the Fiji government.

9. Jubilation after hearing the West Papua National Authority had finally left Nadi Airport.

10. West Papua National Authority delegation finally lands in Vanuatu: Edu Pariri, Jacob Rumbiak, Dominggus Arronggear, Jack Wainggai, Chief Gwasgwas, Pastor Abraham Kareni, Happy Daimboa, Frans Kapisa. Photo: Tommy Latupeirissa RMS.

11. Maraki Vanuariki Council of Chiefs welcomes West Papua National Authority to Farea ki Vete.

12. Tongoa-Shepherd Community welcomes West Papuans to the summit.

13. Dominggus Arrongear (West Papua), Rev. Peter Woods (Melbourne), Joana Rumere (Canberra), Jimmy Cocking, Alfonse Adadikam (Melbourne), Kieran Byrne (Brisbane).

14. Alfonse Adadikam, Chief Gwas Gwas, Dominggus Arrongear, Pastor Kareni, Sixta Mambor, Jacob Rumbiak, Joana Rumere, Frans Kapisa, Edu Pariri, Jack Wainggai, Happy Daimboa.

18. Praying over the final Unity Day Declaration, 29 November 2007.

20. Sacrifice, Jacob Rumbiak with Chief Shem Rarua from Maraki Vanuariki Council of Chiefs.

22. The Chiefs call Moana Carcasses MP (Leader to the Parliamentary Opposition Group) to receive their West Papua Unity Day Declaration.

24. Presenting the West Papua Unity Day Declaration, wrapped in the blood-soaked Morning Star flag, to Moana Carcasses Kalosil MP to deliver to the Vanuatu Government.

27. Gift Exchange, Dominggus Aronggear presents Chief Abel David with traditional Papuan head-dress.

28. Gift Exchange, Jacob Rumbiak presents Maraki Vanuariki Council of Chiefs with traditional cloth from West Papua … and in return (below) is presented with traditional Vanuatu wood stick from Maraki Vanuariki Council of Chiefs.

30. Gift Exchange. Chief David, with Kieran and Jack Byrne who made the presentation in Vanuatu-pidgin.

31. Gift Exchange, Chief Shem Rurua and Australia West Papua Assoc (WA).

32. Jacob Rumbiak dancing with Sarah, one of the mamas who cooked for 300 people a day for ten days on an open-pit fire.

33. 3am, 29 November 2007, Cooking mumu-style outside the Farea ki Vete.

34. 7pm, 29 November 2007, The meal inside the Farea ki Vete.

35. Farewell gift from Peter Woods to Silas, a veteran of Vanuatu’s freedom-struggle.

36. West Papua delegation leaving Port Vila

Vanuatu, Port Vila

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