The Pacific Elders’ Voice (PEV), comprising former heads of state, US congresspersons and regional figures, has issued an urgent call for Indonesia to allow the UN in to West Papua.

An open letter to regional Pacific bodies was issued on April 21. The Elders note that ‘the human rights situation’ in West Papua has ‘significantly deteriorated’ in recent years, with ‘an increased number of extra judicial executions, enforced disappearances and the internal displacement of Melanesian Papuans’.

The Elders reiterate the outstanding request of the Pacific Islands Forum leaders for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to be allowed into West Papua to conduct an urgent independent investigation. Over 80 international states, alongside the EU Commission, have publicly called for the High Commissioner to be allowed in. Indonesia continues to block the visit from taking place.

The letter is signed by former presidents and prime ministers of the Marshall Islands, Palau, Kiribati and Tuvalu, a former Secretary General of the Pacific Island Forum, and a former member of the U.S. Congress, alongside others.

The Elders call on the international community to ensure that the visit takes place before the next meeting of the G20 in Bali, and also call on the UN Human Rights Council to pass a motion on human rights in West Papua.

You can read the full letter and signatories here: