|A massive crowd at Timika, Papua, greets the MSG decision to grant West Papuans observer status. |
Image: Free West Papua Campaign
It had the opportunity to take a fully principled stand on behalf of the West Papuan people, brutally oppressed by Indonesia after an arguably “illegal” occupation for more than a half century.
Host nation Solomon Islands Prime Minister and chair Mannaseh Sogareve set the tone by making an impassioned plea at the start of the summit, predicting a “test” for the MSG. He said it would be an issue of human rights and the rule of law.
In the end, the MSG failed the test with a betrayal of the people of West Papua by the two largest members. Although ultimately it is a decision by consensus.
Instead, the MSG granted Indonesia a “promotion” to associate member status – an Asian country, not even Melanesian?