•  The Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO) is calling on the Pacific Island Forum Leaders to support Vanuatu to take the issue of West Papua to the United Nations.With membership in Pacific Forum Countries and Territories, PIANGO continues to be concerned with ongoing violations of the human rights of ethnic Melanesians in Indonesia’s Papua provinces.

    PIANGO Executive Director Emele Duituturaga said that the issue of West Papua has been on the Leaders Agenda without evident progress. PIANGO had previously raised its concerns on this issue in 2016 and 2017but the situation has not improved.

    According to The report the International Coalition on Papua Human Rights Update for the fourth quarter of 2017 confirmthat human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings continue.

    Duituturaga said that in PIANGO’s submission to Pacific Leaders through the Forum Specialist Sub-regional Committee of Regionalism in February this year PIANGO called for:

  • A  UN Special Rapporteur on West Papua to investigate continued human rights violations
  • Support for a UN General Assembly Resolution to include West Papua on the UN Decolonisation List; and
  • Scrutiny of development cooperation with Indonesia and participation in the Pacific Island ForumPIANGO commends the Government and People of Vanuatu for their continued efforts for West Papua and joins them in calling on Pacific Forum Leaders’ to not give up on West Papua, but to heed their moral duty as Pacific neighbours and relatives to halt these violations immediately.

    The issue of West Papua will be on the agenda of CSO roundtable meetings jointly organised by PIANGO and its National Affiliate – Nauru Islands Association of Non-Government Organisation (NIANGO),  to precede next week’s PIF Leaders CSO Dialogue under the theme .“Rethinking and Reshaping a Free and Secure Blue Pacific”.

    The Roundtablefor national and local CSOs is underway in Nauru today.

    A regional CSO Roundtable will take place next Monday 3 September in Nauru.

    The Forum Leaders-CSO Dialogue will take place on Tuesday 4 September – a closed session between Pacific Islands Forum Leaders and selected civil society representatives.

    PIANGO has been actively campaigned over the past years for the inclusion of civil society voices and representation in regional policy and decision making which has been adopted with the Framework for Pacific Regionalism.