31 Jul 2014

NZ urged to not abandon West Papuans

4:49 pm on 31 July 2014

A West Papuan activist says Australia and New Zealand must not abandon the indigenous people of her homeland.

Visiting New Zealand, Paula Makabori has met members of parliament pushing for the country to play a role in addressing human rights abuses in Indonesia's Papua region.

She says New Zealand's previous success in brokering an end to the Bougainville conflict shows the peace mediator role that it can play.

While Wellington and Canberra have been reluctant to interfere in Indonesia's affairs, Ms Makabori says they should encourage Jakarta towards recognising West Papuan self-determination rights.

"Politically, they cannot just abandon the rights of West Papuans. It is also stated in international conventions on civil and political rights. It is also protected by United Nations declarations that every nation has the right to be free."

Paula Makabori