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use the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs’ traditional building for ceremony and governance was controversially withdrawn a few days before the summit.
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.
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.