History was made at the United Nations yesterday as Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva, Prime Minister of Tonga gave a strong speech to the General Assembly supporting the people of West Papua! The Kingdom of Tonga and the Solomon Islands both took an important lead in supporting the people of West Papua, including for Fact Finding Mission, at the recent Pacific Islands Forum Leader’s Meeting.
Following on from this, the Prime Minister of Tonga yesterday called for other leaders to stand against injustice and human rights violations in West Papua. He reminded the United Nations of its obligation to help the people of West Papua and to take action to stop the brutality and inhumane activities there.
Transcript of the speech
Finally, Mr. President, most of us have come a long way, looking with hope for solutions. Our political priorities must not distract us from the goal, so well embodied in the 2030 agenda to leave no one behind. I reemphasize that this goal speaks to us as leaders to work together against injustice and cruel violation of human rights and, as in the case of West Papua in Melanesia in the Pacific.
This is within our power. It is a choice that those with power and privilege can make. United Nations has a duty to closely follow up this West Papua case and necessary action be taken to stop this brutal and inhuman activities.
We leaders must rise to a higher moral order beyond interest, and be guided by what is fair and justiciable to all. I’m concerned that messages delivered by his holiness Pope Francis and other world leaders we have heard in the last few days, may not have been well and truly heard. We have an obligation, a duty, and I echo the challenge: we must meet this moral obligation internationally, regionally, and nationally, or else we will be left behind.
I thank you, Mr. President
After the speech, Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva also made a press release showing further support from Tonga for the people of West Papua. Here is the press release
TONGA DOES NOT CONDONE THE INJUSTICE, CRUEL VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS & DIGNITY AND BRUTAL TREATMENTS AROUND THE WORLD ESPECIALLY IN WEST PAPUA IN THE PACIFIC REGION!
Tonga Prime Minister, ‘Akilisi Pohiva, during his statement at the UN General Assembly yesterday Tuesday 29th September 2015, in New York, said that he was humbled by the speech of Pope Francis in which he directly spoke to the Leaders of the United Nations during the opening of the UN General Assembly on Monday 28th September 2015 in New York about the political issues around the world. Pohiva said that His Holiness spoke in a language higher than that of politics, i.e. one of morality and of moral imperative and these were principles and ideals that have guided him throughout his life.
Pohiva also strongly emphasized that this was a call from His Holiness to all of them Leaders to work together against the injustice, cruel violation of human rights and dignity around the world especialy in West Papua in the Pacific where brutal treatment is currently happening. Pohiva called on the UN to take actions, as necessary, to assist West Papua as it is within their powers.
Malo ‘aupito from the Free West Papua Campaign!
This is an incredible moment for the people of West Papua and we are all full of tremendous gratitude, thanks and encouragement towards Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva and all the people and Kingdom of Tonga. Such true Pacific solidarity is so warmly appreciated and very much needed for the West Papuan people who are still suffering under illegal Indonesian occupation.
We give our deepest thanks and encouragement to the Prime Minister for all the very welcome and heartfelt support. We continue to welcome and encourage the Kingdom of Tonga as well as other Pacific nations and nations all around the world to show essential support for the people of West Papua and their struggle for self-determination.
Thank you very much – Malo ‘aupito!