New Solomon Islands Prime Minister reiterates his country’s support for West Papua

November 25, 2017

We are delighted to report that the new Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, H.E. Mr. Rick Hou, is following in the footsteps of former PM H.E. Mr. Manasseh Sogavare in supporting West Papua. Thank you Prime Minister! Tagio tumas!

After meeting with Octovianus Mote from the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), on 22nd November, The Prime Minister’s official Press Statement read:

THE Prime Minister Hon. Rick Hounipwela MP has stated that he will continue to support the plight of the West Papuans.

He was responding to a call by the Secretary General of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Octovanius Mote during a courtesy visit made to the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday.

In his briefing with the Honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Mote congratulates Hon. Hounipwela for his new role as the Prime Minister and for settling recent political difference and for maintaining stability in the country.

Mr. Mote then stated that his people are grateful for the support that the Solomon Islands have rendered towards West Papuans.

He further reiterates, “We really hope that your government will continue to support us because it is already a very historical momentum already built by Solomon Islands Governments on the West Papua issue.”

Mote also expresses that without the support from countries like Solomon Islands it is predicted that by year 2020 according to academic reports, there will be as less than 23 percent West Papuans left in their land due to the increase of migration by Indonesians into West Papua.

The ULMWP Secretary General further mentioned an update about a recent meeting held between Pope and Pacific Islands Leaders in which the the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Charlot Salwai representing the Melanesia and the Vatican’s Secretary of State on lobbying towards next year’s UN General Assembly in September.

Mr. Mote stated that one of the outcomes of the meeting was that the Vatican has made a suggestion to the Vanuatu Prime Minister was for Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to open diplomatic relations with the Vatican and adding that Solomon Islands might give mandate to its Ambassador in Brussels to extend also to including the Vatican.

He said that by doing so, the Prime Minister of both countries can communicate directly to the Holy See to ask the Holy See to support to pull numbers towards the next year’s UN resolution.

In his response, the Prime Minister Hon. Hounipwela thanked the ULMWP Secretary General for taking the time to visit his office and further stated his support for the plight of the West Papuans;

“In terms of the matters that you raised,” the Prime Minister says, “Solomon Islands has been a astound supporter of the cause of West Papua.”

“I believe we have had a number of opportunities to press on with what can be done but also as a gesture there are lots of hurdles to go over but we will continue to hope for the best.” Says Hon. Hounipwela.

“We will continue to play our role as much as we can.” The Prime Minister says.

The Prime Minister also thanked the Secretary General Mote for his kind words in congratulating him and acknowledging his role in bringing stability in the country.

We convey our greatest thanks and encouragement to the Prime Minister and all the people of Solomon Islands for their continued support for West Papua’s self-determination and freedom!