‘PNG will not back Vanuatu push for West Papua’
20 September, 2018, 1:15 pm
PORT MORESBY, 20 SEPTEMBER 2018 (POST COURIER) – Papua New Guinea will not and does not support the issue of West Papua now being pushed by Vanuatu at the United Nations.
This is because according to Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Rimbink Pato, West Papua is still an integral part of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea under its foreign policy will not interfere with that and the international law on the matter.
Pato was asked about PNG’s stand on West Papua, given the fact that Vanuatu is now pushing for West Papua at the UN.
He said: “We object to it, so Papua New Guinea will not and doesn’t support any action taken by Vanuatu, so we object to it.”
“Any action to support will be a breach of the international law, you know West Papua or Papua is still part and parcel, an integral part of the Republic of Indonesia and we have a bilateral relationship with the Republic of Indonesia, so we will not support that,” he said.
Papua New Guinea is a bigger player in the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the Pacific Island Forum, let alone the Pacific. There has been lobbying from MSG countries and Pacific to support the West Papua in their quest for independence.
Vanuatu has announced that they would be pushing for West Papua at the United Nations meeting this month.
Pato said PNG’s stand is that the government will not support Vanuatu in its push for West Papua at the UN level.