United Liberation Movement for West Papua

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United Liberation Movement for West Papua
Coat of arms of Republic of West Papua.svg
Formation7 December 2014 – present[1]
PurposeWest Papuan independence
Chairman
Benny Wenda[2]
International Spokesperson
Jacob Rumbiak[3]
AffiliationsFederal Republic of West Papua
West Papua National Coalition for Liberation
National Parliament of West Papua
Websitehttps://www.ulmwp.org/

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) unites the three main political independence movements seeking independence for Western New Guinea (West Papua) under a single umbrella organisation.[1] The ULMWP was formed on 7 December 2014 in Vanuatu uniting the Federal Republic of West Papua (NRFPB), the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) and the National Parliament of West Papua (NPWP).[1]

History[edit]

In October 2013, the West Papua National Council for Liberation made an unsuccessful application to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).[5] Indonesia had earlier been granted observer status in 2011 for Papua (province) and West Papua (province).[5] The MSG advised that West Papua independence organisations must first unite for any future applications to be considered.[6]

In December 2014, all West Papuan independence movement groups united under a single umbrella organisation, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua in Vanuatu.[6]

In February 2015, Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa according to Benny Wenda, stated he was shocked that West Papua is still not free.[7] In 2004, the Bishop had asked the UN to review the Act of Free Choice.[8]

In June 2015, the ULMWP was granted MSG observer status as representative of West Papuans outside the country while Indonesia was upgraded to associate member.[9][10]

In September 2016, at the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, the Prime Ministers of Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and the Presidents of Nauru and Marshall Islands, called for UN action on alleged human rights abuses committed on West Papua's indigenous Melanesians.[11][12] The Solomon Islands stated that human rights abuses were linked to the pursuit for independence, and Tuvalu raised autonomy.[11] Indonesia responded that the allegations were false and fabricated.[11] The Solomon Islands said that Indonesia should give UN special rapporteurs access to West Papua to prove allegations were false.[13]

In October, the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination initiated an early warning and urgent action procedure, and requested Indonesia to formally respond to allegations of racial violence by mid-November, where Indonesia never responded to the UN hearing.[citation needed]

Free West Papua protest in Melbourne, August 2012

In March 2017, at the 34th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, Vanuatu made a joint statement on behalf of Tonga, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands raising human rights abuses and requested that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights produce a report.[14][15] Indonesia replied that it rejected Vanuatu's allegations.[15] Also, a joint NGO statement was made raising the depopulation of indigenous West Papuans and health and medical services especially in remote areas.[16] Indonesia replied that the allegation of depopulation of Papuan community is simply baseless.[16]

In May 2017, at the Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) a joint statement by Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau, and the Marshall Islands raised human rights abuses which were described as slow-motion genocide and called for a resolution to support self-determination.[17][18] Papua New Guinea suggested a fact-finding mission.[17][18] Guinea-Bissau compared the plight of West Papua to East Timor.[17][18]

In May 2017, eleven New Zealand parliamentarians from four political parties signed the Westminster Declaration, which calls for West Papua’s right to self-determination to be legally recognised through an internationally supervised vote.[19]

In September 2017, at the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, the Prime Ministers of the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu once again raised human rights concerns and the Caribbean nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.[20] Vanuatu called for a Human Rights Council investigation into killings and human rights abuses by Indonesian security forces and appealed to world leaders to support self-determination with the Solomon Islands also calling for self-determination.[20][21] Indonesia denied all the allegations and stated that West Papua would remain part of Indonesia.[21]

On 26 September 2017, ULMWP spokesperson Benny Wenda claimed that at the United Nations General Assembly he presented a secret petition for self-determination signed by 1.8 million West Papuans to the Special Committee on Decolonization.[22][23] The Chair of the Special Committee on Decolonisation, Rafael Ramírez, subsequently responded that he had not received a petition and even if one was presented it would be outside the mandate of the committee. Ramírez said that the committee accepts Indonesia's sovereignty over West Papua and that his office had been "manipulated" for political purposes.[24][25][26]

On 1 December 2017, Benny Wenda was elected Chairman of the ULMWP following an organisational restructure. Jacob Rumbiak now serves as the International Spokesperson. [27]

Organisational structure[edit]

National Parliament of West Papua[edit]

The National Parliament of West Papua (PNWP) incorporates the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB).[28]

West Papua National Coalition for Liberation[edit]

The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) is a group for organisations seeking independence that was formed on 20 December 2005. Its current Secretary General is Rex Rumakiek.[29]

The Coalition aims to raise the issue of West Papua in Oceania's regional organisations. It is seeking observer status for West Papua at the Melanesian Spearhead Group,[29] and has announced it would request the Papua New Guinean government to bring up the question of West Papua at the Pacific Islands Forum.[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "About ULMWP". United Liberation Movement for West Papua. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  2. ^ https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/345380/wenda-elected-as-new-head-of-west-papuan-liberation-movement
  3. ^ https://www.ulmwp.org/representatives
  4. ^ "Representatives". United Liberation Movement for West Papua. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b Sally Andrews (3 April 2015). "West Papua: Melanesian Spearhead Group has a tough decision to make". Lowly Interpreter. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  6. ^ a b Ligo, Godwin (10 December 2014). "West Papuans unite under new umbrella group". Vanuatu Daily Post. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  7. ^ Wenda, Benny (16 March 2015). "Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu renews call for UN review of West Papuan self-determination". Free West Papua Campaign (Press release). Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  8. ^ "West Papua: Nobel Prize Desmond Tutu calls on UN to act". Unrepresented Nations and People Organization (Press release). 26 February 2004. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  9. ^ Armbruster, Stefan (26 June 2015). "Melanesia takes lead on future West Papuan peace". SBS News. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  10. ^ Fox, Liam (25 June 2015). "Indonesia admitted to Melanesian Spearhead Group, West Papuan group given observer status". ABC News Pacific Beat. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  11. ^ a b c "Pacific leaders raise West Papua at the UN". Radio New Zealand. 26 September 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Indonesia accuses Pacific nations of 'misusing' the United Nations assembly after Papua criticisms". ABC News Pacific Beat. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 26 September 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Solomons repeats call for UN Special Rapporteurs in Papua". Radio New Zealand. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  14. ^ Fox, Liam (2 March 2017). "Pacific nations call for UN investigations into alleged Indonesian rights abuses in West Papua". ABC News. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Pacific nations want UN to investigate Indonesia on West Papua". SBS News. 7 March 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  16. ^ a b "NGOs deliver statement about the situation of indigenous Papuans at Human Rights Council". The International Coalition for Papua: Human Rights and Peace for Papua. 23 March 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  17. ^ a b c "Pacific nations condemn Indonesia's human rights violations at ACP meeting". The Vanuatu Independent. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  18. ^ a b c "Pacific nations back West Papuan self-determination". Radio New Zealand. 6 May 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  19. ^ "NZ politicians support West Papua self-determination vote". ABC News Pacific Beat. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  20. ^ a b "Fiery debate over West Papua at UN General Assembly". Radio New Zealand 2017. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  21. ^ a b "Indonesia hits back at Melanesian leaders on West Papua". Radio New Zealand. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  22. ^ "West Papuan People's Petition signed by 1.8 million West Papuans handed to the UN by ULMWP". United Liberation for West Papua (Press release). 27 September 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  23. ^ Fernandez, Timothy (28 September 2017). "Outlawed West Papua independence petition presented to the United Nations". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  24. ^ Hawley, Samantha (29 September 2017). "West Papua independence petition does not exist, United Nations says". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  25. ^ "UN committee rejects West Papua independence petition". Radio New Zealand. 30 September 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  26. ^ Statement of UN Chairman of Decolonization Committee About Petition of West Papua (Television production). West Papua Liberation Organization. 29 September 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  27. ^ "Wenda elected as new head of West Papuan liberation movement". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  28. ^ "Relations". National Parliament of West Papua. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  29. ^ a b "West Papua National Coalition for Liberation settles new leadership". Radio New Zealand International. April 8, 2008. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  30. ^ "West Papua Coalition to work on changing PNG Government attitude". Radio New Zealand International. August 25, 2008. Retrieved December 2, 2011.

External links[edit]