1 Dec 2014

Vanuatu's deputy PM hopes for united West Papua voice

8:15 pm on 1 December 2014

Vanuatu's former Prime Minister, Edward Natapei, says he hopes a united political force for West Papua will be formed as a result of a conference being held in Port Vila this week.

The three-day conference is an attempt to try and form a unified bid to get West Papua membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Edward Natapei says West Papua's last bid to join the MSG was knocked back because the delegation wasn't able to form a more representative bid.

But he says that if a single body is formed there is no reason why it would not be able to become a member at the next MSG leaders' summit.

Vanuatu politician Edward Natapei

Vanuatu politician Edward Natapei Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

"We hope that after this meeting, there will come out a united force that will prove beyond doubt the West Papuans are united, and therefore they should be admitted to be members of the MSG."

Whether or not that united force is created should be known when the conference ends later this week.