7 Mar 2011

West Papua group to continue lobbying for Pacific support to take case to UN

11:16 am on 7 March 2011

The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation says it will continue to lobby Pacific countries to support Vanuatu's bid to raise legal issues around the status of Indonesia's Papua region at the United Nations.

Vanuatu's parliament agreed last year to request General Assembly support for the International Court of Justice to provide an advisory opinion on the process in which the former Netherlands New Guinea was ceded to Indonesia in the 1960s.

However the bid has been postponed partly due to a change in Vanuatu's government.

The coalition's secretary-general Rex Rumakiek says Vanuatu also needs to work on getting the Melanesian Spearhead Group countries' support on the bid.

"They (Vanuatu) don't want to do it by themselves, they need support from the region: MSG as well as the Forum. So we're hoping that when they meet in Fiji this month (the MSG) they should talk about it. But again we are depending on Vanuatu to advise us what to do because we are going to lobby worldwide, especially concentrating on New Zealand as the Forum is going to be in New Zealand this year."