25 Sep 2017

Solomons calls on UN to support self-determination for West Papuans

6:18 pm on 25 September 2017

The Solomon Islands prime minister has called on world leaders to support self-determination for West Papuans.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, Manasseh Sogavare said for more than 50 years the world had turned a blind eye to atrocities committed against indigenous West Papuans by Indonesia.

The Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare

Manasseh Sogavare Photo: UN Photo/Kim Haughton

Mr Sogavare said the UN's lack of attention grossly contradicted Article 73 of the UN Charter on human rights.

He said the UN Sustainable Development Goals that promote the notion of no-one left behind are synonymous with empty promises unless the United Nations takes active steps to address the plight of the peoples of West Papua.

"Failing this, as a family of nations, will become complicit in perpetuating the suffering and being blind to the injustice, missing yet another golden opportunity to remain true to the saying of leaving noone behind. Our people are watching. West Papuans inside West Papua are watching, praying and hoping for a brighter future."

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