21 Jun 2010

Vanuatu hopes raising sensitive Papua issue at UN won't upset Indonesia

3:42 pm on 21 June 2010

A Vanuatu government MP says it's hoped that parliament's passing of a motion to raise issues around the status of Indonesian territories of New Guinea, at the United Nations, won't upset relations with Jakarta.

The motion seeks support from the UN General Assembly in clarifying the legality of the process in which the former Netherlands New Guinea was ceded to Indonesia in the 1960s.

Vanuatu wants the General Assembly's support for the International Court of Justice to provide an advisory opinion on the process.

MP Ralph Regenvanu says Vanuatu wants international attention drawn to the issue.

"We see it as similar to the (Vanuatu) claim to Matthew and Hunter Islands, which is a dispute as you know with France. We see it on that same level. Not necessarily a dispute but it's that we want to raise international attention to the issue of West Papua. And it's the same as with Matthew and Hunter - it's an issue that we disagree with France about - but we hope that it won't jeopardise relations with those countries."

Ralph Regenvanu