West Papua’s return to the UN: fulfilling Sec-General Hammarskjöld’s legacy


ZOOM SUMMIT: WEST PAPUA’S RETURN TO THE UN: fulfilling Hammarskjöld’s legacy

This memorial for Dag Hammarskjöld and his 1961 Decolonisation Program for West Papua explores a complex global story, of two unique UN peace-keeping undertakings by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld in 1961 in the midst of overwhelming tension between the US and the USSR. The first inserted a UN peace-keeping military force into the Congo to de-escalate conflict over the new state’s mineral resources. The second was designed to prevent Indonesia invading the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Dutch New Guinea, or West Papua as we know it today. What was the outcome of these peace-keeping endeavours? First, the Secretary-General lost his life. Second, the new state of Congo nose-dived from democracy to chaos and then authoritarianism. Third, the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Dutch New Guinea (Melanesian West Papua) was passed to Indonesia, an Asian state on the verge of political and economic collapse. These three stories in concert have rarely if ever been told.

MEDIA RELEASE, West Papua’s return to UN: fulfilling Hammarskjöld’s legacy

MEDIA RELEASE, West Papua’s return to the UN, fulfilling Dag Hammarskjold’s legacy

SPEECH, Babuan Mirino (President, FRWP Womens Office, Docklands)

SPEECH, Pastor Edison Waromi, (ULMWP Chair of the Legislative)

Pastor Edison Waromi is a former political prisoner (and still endures conditions of house arrest). As well as Chair of the Legislative of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, he is President of the Executive (West Papua National Authority). In this speech he asks the Australian government to rip up the Lombok Treaty with Indonesia, and to support West Papua’s independence struggle … “our land is in a state of emergency with the recent deployment of thousands of highly trained Indonesian troops.”

INTRODUCING Herman Wainggai, ULMWP Special Mission to UN
SPEECH, Herman Wainggai, ULMWP Special Mission to UN

INTRODUCING Henning Melber, Emeritus Director, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation
SPEECH, Professor Henning Melber: ‘Dag Hammarskjöld, West Papua & The UN’

INTRODUCING Litiana Kalsrep, Tongoa Shepherd Women’s Association, Vanuatu
SPEECH, Litiana Kalsrep, ‘Why Vanuatu is sponsoring West Papua at the UN’

SPEECH, Francine Ngoya, ‘Replanting Dag Hammarskjöld in the Congo’

Association of Women Teachers from Catholic Schools in Democratic Republic of Congo

SPEECH, Mr Clovis Mwamba, ‘Dag Hammarskjöld, Hero of peace in the Congo’


This video-exhibition documents UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld’s 1961 Decolonisation Program for West Papua (then the Non-Self-Governing-Territory of Dutch-Nieuw Guinea). Hammarskjöld’s death, which is still being investigated, precluded him from presenting this program to the 1961 UN General Assembly, and without his influential and authoritative presence, the Assembly-torn by Cold War tension and manipulation-did not pass the motion. The UN’s denial of self-determination, its founding principle, in the context of West Papua, paved passage for an American-led agreement that facilitated the Indonesian occupation. Contrary to popular opinion there has never been an act of self-determination in West Papua.

DEATH OF A HERDSMAN, a poem by Yvette Rippplinger, 18 September 1961

Death of a Herdsman, Yvette Ripplinger, 18 Sept 1961

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