UK Parliamentarians welcome handing-in of historic West Papuan People’s Petition

January 28, 2019

A group of UK parliamentarians in the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for West Papua have welcomed the handing-in of the historical West Papuan People’s Petition to the UN human rights chief.

In a statement, the APPG said:

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on West Papua is overjoyed to hear that the West Papuan People’s Petition has been officially handed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva with support from the Vanuatu government. The petition, signed by 70% of the Papuan population and calling for self-determination for the territory, was an arduous and heroic achievement of the West Papuan people. We hope the UN will now respond by fulfilling its historic duties to rectify the 1969 Act of Free Choice and allow West Papuans to freely determine their own future.

The petition hand-in comes at a time of great concern in West Papua, with chemical weapons reportedly deployed by the Indonesian military and a humanitarian crisis in Nduga. Thousands of Papuans have been internally displaced, and several have died. We call for the urgent removal of Indonesian security forces from the Nguda Regency and for Indonesia to allow humanitarian and monitoring agencies in to the area.

In a meeting facilitated by the Vanuatu government on January 25, 2019, the Chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda, handed the self-determination petition – signed by 1.8 million Papuans in 2017 – to Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The ULMWP will now target the UN General Assembly.

Read Chairman Benny Wenda’s statement here.