8 Sep 2015

Forum to give West Papua serious thought

8:12 pm on 8 September 2015

The former, current and incoming chairs of the Pacific Islands Forum say they will take the concerns of Pacific NGOs on the situation in West Papua seriously.

Issues of West Papua and climate change are expected to be high on the agenda at this week's Forum leaders summit in Papua New Guinea's capital.

This week in Port Moresby, regional civil society organisations were given a rare face to face meeting with the past, present and future chairpersons of the Forum.

The leaders said they would take the concerns of Pacific NGOs on the situation in West Papua seriously.

The Pacific Network on Globalisation's Joey Tau said the reaffirmation added to the growing voices of Pacific peoples seeking a moral stand on human rights abuses in West Papua.

"There is tremendous support throughout the Pacific. We have the solidarity movements in Fiji, in Solomon Islands, in Vanuatu and back here in Papua New Guinea who are basically calling on leaders to deliberate and act morally on the issues that are before them in regards to West Papua."

The regional NGOs have also called on Pacific Island leaders and Australia and New Zealand to come up with a united stance on climate change for the Paris COP 21 negotiations.

The spokesperson for the Pacific NGOs Ann Singeo from the EBIIL society told the leaders to secure a safe future for people in the region.

"We are hoping that they at least have a united voice in the Paris COP 21 in December, so that they can at least unite on certain grounds to speak for at least the threat of climate change on the lives of our Pacific Islanders but also the mere existence of our countries and our people."

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Photo: RNZ

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