9 Oct 2007

New Zealand called on to speak up for Papua

7:03 pm on 9 October 2007

The Indonesia Human Rights Committee wants the New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, to advocate for the people of West Papua at the Pacific Islands Forum when it meets next week.

It says the appeal is backed by other NGOs, including Pax Christi, Peace Movement Aotearoa and Christian World Service.

The Committee says West Papua should have the observer status granted to other Pacific territories because it is much in need of regional support and clearly part of the Pacific in terms of its geography, history, culture and ethnicity.

It says observer status would give new visibility to the West Papuan issue and could pave the way for the Forum to serve as a mediator between the region and the Indonesian Government.