9 Sep 2011

Papua NGOs welcome UN's Ban's comments

11:33 am on 9 September 2011

Non-government organisations which have been campaigning on behalf of self determination for the people of Papua in Indonesia say they're encouraged by the statement from the United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon.

Mr Ban told media on Tuesday in Auckland that the UN will do all it can to ensure the human rights of West Papuans are respected.

Peace Movement Aotearoa, which represents a large number of New Zealand NGOs, says Mr Ban must immediately appoint a special representative to investigate the situation in West Papua.

It says there's needs to be a review of the circumstances and outcome of the controversial 1969 Act of Free Choice, under which Indonesia got UN support to absorb Papua.

It also says he should try to convince the Indonesian government to allow free access to West Papua for media and NGOs.

The group also says the Pacific Islands Forum leaders must also act without delay and send a fact-finding mission to West Papua to investigate the human rights situation and to support a peaceful dialogue.

And it says the New Zealand government can play a key role in mediating and beginning that dialogue process.

New Zealand's foreign minister, Murray McCully says officials will be meeting with West-Papuan activists.

"I have said hullo to them and I have asked the director of our Pacific Division to meet with them and I understand that's happening."