WPLO asks the UN to take responsibility for the process of handing over Papua to Indonesia, This is what Steve Mara said

by Redaksi

During the UN session held from April 15-26, 2024, in New York, United States, a representative of the West Papua Liberation Organization (WPLO), John Anari, urged the UN to intervene in freeing Papua from Indonesia.

John Anari stated that the UN must take responsibility for its actions in taking over Papua when the Netherlands relinquished Papua to become an independent state, but the UN handed over Papua to Indonesia on May 1, 1963, through the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA).

Previously, John Anari also questioned the validity of Resolution 2504, arguing that it was born out of a flawed process because the Act of Free Choice in 1969 did not involve the entire population of Papua.

In response to John Anari’s statement, representing WPLO, Steve Mara, chairman of the Melanesian Youth Diplomacy Forum (MYDIF), stated that the Act of Free Choice conducted in 1969 was legitimate as it adhered to various international principles.

The process began with the appointment of a UN representative for West Irian (UNRWI), Ortiz Sanz, on April 1, 1968. Ortiz arrived in Indonesia on August 12, 1968, and traveled with his three staff members for 10 days before arriving in Papua on August 23, 1968. The process continued, and by May 30, 1969, UNRWI received the schedule for the Act of Free Choice.

The Act of Free Choice took place starting from July 14, 1969, in Merauke, July 17, 1969, in Wamena, July 19, 1969, in Nabire, July 23, 1969, in Fak-fak, July 26, 1969, in Sorong, July 29, 1969, in Manokwari, July 31 in Biak, and concluded in Jayapura on August 2, 1969. The Act of Free Choice was conducted in 8 regions within the municipality with the result that 1,025 people attending the Act of Free Choice wished to remain with Indonesia.

On August 18, 1969, Ortiz Sanz left Indonesia and reported his findings at the general session on November 6, 1969. On November 19, 1969, the resolution regarding Papua’s integration into Indonesia within the framework of the Republic of Indonesia discussed in the general session of the UN was approved by 84 countries.

Steve Mara further emphasized that it should be understood that the UN is an intergovernmental body, and all resolutions proposed or to be repealed must be proposed only by a country or group of countries. WPLO’s request to the UN General Assembly is beyond this context because, based on the rules and procedures of the UN General Assembly, individuals or groups of individuals do not have the right to initiate such actions, and this has been consistently applied within the UN system.

To avoid misunderstanding, I suggest that WPLO read the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly, document number A/520/Rev. 17. Any initiatives proposed by a country or group of countries must be approved by a committee (General Committee/GC) to be discussed in one of the 6 Committees of the UN General Assembly. If not approved, it cannot be on the agenda of the session, especially if the initiative and efforts are deemed to interfere with the sovereignty and integrity of a country.

Regarding the accountability requested by WPLO from the UN regarding the process of handing over Papua to Indonesia in 1963, the UN’s accountability process was already carried out through the implementation of the Act of Free Choice in 1969, and the result is clear that Papua has become an integral part of Indonesia based on the choice of the Papuan people themselves.

Steve asserted that there is no further accountability to be held by the UN regarding Indonesia’s sovereignty; that matter was concluded in 1969.

We must also remember that even the UN cannot intervene in the sovereignty of a country because there is an international principle called Non-intervention. Unless the people of the area to be intervened by that country or the UN do not give legitimacy to their government. However, today, the people of Papua provide strong legitimacy to the state, working in various fields and participating in efforts to maintain the country’s sovereignty.

So, I think there’s no need to discuss past issues anymore; now is the time for Papua’s leaders, my seniors both inside and outside the country, to share good knowledge, encourage the young generation of Papua to prepare themselves and protect themselves from any future threats. Let’s support our government so that we can see a peaceful and prosperous Papua. Said Steve Mara.

Artikel Terkait

Leave a Comment