Speech by ULMWP Chairman Benny Wenda at the 21st MSG Leaders Summit

 

On 14 February 2018.

Honorable Peter O’Neil, Prime Minister of Papua New Gunea and Chairman of MSG.

Tankiu tumas long infaitim mi blong tok tok insaid long Haus Tambaran blong yu.

I acknowledge Honorable Rick Houenipwela Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Honorable Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, Honorable Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Minister of Defense and Internal Security, of the Republic Fiji Islands and Excellency Victor Tutogoro, the leader of FLNKS.

My delegation, also extends greetings to Dr. Dersa Percaya and his Indonesian delegation.

I use this opportunity to also acknowledge the former Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Honorable Menase Sogovare for his valuable service to Melanesia, specifically his dedication to resolve the West Papuan issue.

I acknowledge also Ambassador Amenatave Youvoli the Director General of MSG Secretariat and his dedicated Staff for their tireless service to the Melanesian community.

Ladies and gentlemen, I greet you all in my own language, Wa wa wa wa.

Distinguished leaders of independent Melanesia, West Papuan people are indebted to you for your serious effort to bring an end to this 55 years’ old conflict that caused so much suffering and trauma to our people. Since your decision in Noumea in June 2013 to recognize our inalienable right to self-determination we made great progress in our efforts. We responded positively to Prime Minister O’Neil ‘s encouragement for unity. With the help of the people and the Government of Vanuatu our leaders established the ULMWP and signed the Saralana Declaration of unity. ULMWP is a people’s movement based in West Papua. But for safety reasons its International head office is based in Port Vila, Republic of Vanuatu. In December last year we have upgraded ULMWP to a full-fledged organization with a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Spokesman and Treasurer. Judiciary and Legislative arms of the Movement are in the country. This upgrading is necessary in anticipation of being a responsible member of MSG.

Honorable Leaders, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

We are not a nation state as yet however like FLNKS we too want to become full member of this sub regional institution. This is because we strongly believe in the Melanesia value of inclusiveness as a family.  Secondly, because the Kanaky and West Papuan issues were the very reasons for the creation of this sub-regional institution in Goroka some 30 years ago.

Honorable Prime Minister and distinguished leaders, we strongly belief West Papuan issue can be resolved in the Melanesian way. You have the experience of putting Kanky and French Polynesia on the Decolonization list. Therefore this institution has capacity to resolve the West Papuan Issue.

To conclude I like to quote wise words from two Melanesian leaders,

Former Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Late Solomon Mamaloni, when he addressed the OPM leader Seth Rumkorem, he stated, “your struggle is my struggle, if our generation does not do anything about it, forever we would be condemned by future generations.”

Another leader, Former Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Late Father Walter Lini, “Vanuatu is not completely free until the other colonized Melanesians are free”

Honorable leaders, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Tankiu Tumas, Merci Beaucoup, Vinaka Vakalevu, Wa Wa Wa Wa

Benny Wenda
Chairman of The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP)