Charlene Lanyon Tuesday, June 21, 2016, FIJITIMES.com
SUBMISSIONS made by various sectors to the Pacific Islands Forum have highlighted West Papua as an issue of concern in the region.
Committee representative Lopeti Senituli said 47 submissions were received from the private sector, civil society, individuals, donor communities and Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) agencies.
"The committee comprises experts in specialist fields and we are tasked with identifying and recommending to the forum leaders a set of initiatives that are transformative of the region and supportive of deeper regionalism.
"We would also review progress reports and prepare a brief report to the forum leaders.
"During our assessment, we found that 13 of the 47 proposals that were received were on the issue of West Papua," he said.
PNG's Leonard Louma said West Papua was also one of the five priority issues adopted by the forum last year, along with climate change, fisheries, cervical cancer and information and communications technology.
"However, last year the focus was on the human rights violations happening in West Papua," he said.
"This year's submission focuses on highlighting the issue on the international stage such as at the United Nations and its Human Rights Council.
"Papua New Guinea PM and forum chair Peter O'Neill had written to the Indonesian president and he has informed us that the appropriate place to bring up this issue was at the Bali Democracy Forum."