Review W Papua status, MSG told

The National, Thursday July 14th, 2016

CATHOLIC Archbishop of Port Moresby John Ribat has called on the chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group to grant full membership to West Papua.
Ribat said West Papua should be granted membership through the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in today’s MSG meeting in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
“The ULMWP represents the indigenous Melanesian people of West Papua on MSG.
“We note that ULMWP currently has an observer status and Indonesia has an associate status at MSG.
“So, it is indeed a wise move to have both Indonesia and ULMWP at the MSG table to pursue the desired peaceful dialogue towards an amicable solution.
“There is already strong push for ULMWP to be allowed full membership based on its qualification following the precedent set by FLNKS of New Caledonia.
“Indonesia should also be allowed at the MSG table but only as an observer or associate.”
Ribat said it was the church’s prayer and wish that the MSG political leaders would be guided by a true sense of justice and peace in their deliberations.
“West Papua, no doubt, remains a thorny issue for a peaceful relation among countries in the Asia Pacific region.
“It is necessary that we do our best to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
“There may not be any real peace without resolving the West Papua issue,” Ribat said