7 Oct 2004

Vanuatu asks UN again to put Papua on agenda

11:19 am on 7 October 2004

Vanuatu has reiterated a call for the United Nations to recognise the right to self-determination for people in the Indonesian province of Papua.

The Vanuatu foreign minister Barak Sope yesterday told the United Nations General Assembly in New York that the nations of the world should not ignore the wishes of millions of Papuans for independence.

Mr Sope says the truth should be exposed about the 1969 vote which saw Papua become part of Indonesia.

Vanuatu has in recent years repeatedly urged the UN assembly to put the issue of Papua on its agenda.

The United Nations mandated the vote which made Papua part of Indonesia in 1969.

Observers later said the unanimous vote, which consisted of Papuan leaders hand-picked by Indonesia, was a sham.