This December 1st, we marked our first year as a government in waiting. Our leadership has been well received and acknowledged by many around the world, who have stood with us in solidarity.

In marking the 60th anniversary of our national flag raising, we called for peace. This year, we did not want to provide our enemy with any excuse to cause further suffering to our people. We have suffered enough. The arrests and abuse of power still came but, be sure of this, the eyes of the world were watching.

We think of our brave brothers and sisters that are currently in police stations and prisons: you are not forgotten; we are with you and we will not rest until we are all free.

I want you to take heart, that our flag was raised around the world, at official ceremonies of our Provisional Government and at countless other solidarity events.

Our government was formally recognised by our brothers and sisters in Port Vila, where the Morning Star was raised and where we have been welcomed and understood to be the true representatives of our people and our own land. Secretary General of the Shefa provincial government, Morris Kaloran, shared these words:

“The destiny of our two Melanesian peoples of West Papua and Vanuatu is joined. The West Papuan people remain enslaved and colonised in 21st century, subject to discrimination, assassination and military operations,”

In Port Moresby, where our flag was also proudly raised, Governor of the National Capital District, Powes Parkop, spoke out on our behalf with great conviction, in calling for a more courageous policy on West Papua and achieving progress at the MSG and the United Nations.

Our Head of EU Mission oversaw an official flag raising ceremony in front of the Dutch Parliament, in The Hague. Under his guidance, we continue to see growing recognition in the Dutch Parliament and with our friends in European Parliament.

In Oxford, the Morning Star flew above the Town Hall for the 14th year in a row. The council confirmed their support, and I was able to address them for the first time as representing our provisional government. The leadership and community of the city of Oxford have always demonstrated solidarity with us and this has not waivered.

On behalf of our government and our people, I would like to thank everyone in the international community that has stood with us, for everything they have helped us to achieve in 2021.

To our people, my message is this: the day will soon come when we can raise our flag with pride, with the freedom to rejoice at our independence and to mourn the years we have lost, as well those that have sacrificed their lives along the way.

Benny Wenda
Interim President
ULMWP Provisional Government