5 Mar 2012

United Nations push by Papuan activists a natural step for them, says academic

4:34 pm on 5 March 2012

A leading academic on Indonesia's Papua region says the bid to register an independent West Papua at the United Nations is a natural step from the Papuan perspective.

The bid was announced last week at the high-profile treason trial of five Papuans who claim to be the leadership of a newly proclaimed Federal Republic of West Papua.

Richard Chauvel from the School of Social Sciences at Australia's Victoria University says the move can be seen in the context of Papuan understanding about how Indonesia took control of their homeland in the 1960s.

"The UN played a very substantial part in that, so in Papuan eyes to take the issue back to the UN is a logical consequence of their understanding of that history of how Papua became part of Indonesia."

Richard Chauvel says while it's debatable how successful the UN registration bid will be, the move helps put more global attention on the Papua issue.