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Integration of Papua into the Republic of Indonesia Final Decision cannot be contested

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The process of Papua joining the territory of the Republic of Indonesia is a fairly long historical journey. The region now known as Papua Province, is at the eastern tip of Indonesia and was once part of Dutch New Guinea, which was an overseas territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 1949.

Initially, after the Round Table Conference (KMB) on 27 December 1949, there was a transfer of sovereignty from the Netherlands to Indonesia. However, this agreement did not resolve the conflict between the two parties, because the Dutch still wanted to maintain Papua or West Irian as an autonomous region under Dutch control.

The conflict continued, with the Dutch implementing various strategies to defend Papua, including through a proposal to the United Nations (UN) at the UN General Assembly in September 1961 to place Papua under UN supervision. However, this proposal was rejected.

President Soekarno then formed the Mandala Command to seize Papua on January 2 1962 by appointing Major General Soeharto as commander of military operations. After a long struggle, an international agreement was finally reached with the New York Agreement, which stated that the Netherlands would hand over its control over Papua to the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA).

The New York Agreement was the result of negotiations between Indonesia and the Netherlands at UN Headquarters on 15 August 1962. In these negotiations, Indonesia was represented by DDr. Subandrio, while the Netherlands was represented by Van Roijen and Schurmann.

In accordance with this agreement, the Indonesian government was obliged to hold Pepera in West Irian before the end of 1969. In holding Pepera, the Indonesian and Dutch parties had to accept whatever the results were.

The Act was held from 14 July to 2 August 1969, where the results showed that the majority of the Papuan people chose to remain part of Indonesia.

On November 19 1969, the 24th UN General Assembly accepted the results of the Pepera which stated that the people of West Irian wanted to remain part of the Republic of Indonesia. Since then, West Irian has again become part of Indonesia, both de facto and de jure.

By ratifying the results of PEPERA at the UN General Assembly, West Papua has officially become an inseparable part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. With this resolution, it means that the long-standing conflict between the Republic of Indonesia and the Netherlands which began not long after the proclamation of independence in 1945 was finally announced. With this event, the Netherlands recognized all of its former colonies as territory of the Republic of Indonesia.

The easternmost region of Indonesia underwent several changes, including changing the name from West Irian to Irian Jaya, and then to Papua Province in accordance with Law Number 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for Papua. In 2004, Papua was divided into two provinces, namely Papua Province and West Papua Province (formerly West Irian Jaya). This entire historical journey reflects the complexity and dynamics in the process of forming the identity and sovereignty of the Papua region under the auspices of the Republic of Indonesia.

This region was then given special autonomous status as a form of recognition of its cultural diversity and historical context. And since integration into Indonesia, Papua Province and West Papua Province have experienced very rapid economic, social and political development. This is a form of government attention to Papua Province and West Papua Province as legitimate parts of Indonesia from 1969 until now.

Being an inseparable part of the Republic of Indonesia, Papua continues to experience rapid progress. Various policies have been outlined to accelerate Papua’s development. Of the two provinces in Tanah Papua, currently there are a total of 6 provinces in Papua which are autonomous regions on Papua Island.

Of the 6 provinces in Papua, four of them will be expansions of the two previous provinces, namely Papua and West Papua Provinces in 2022.

The expansion of the province is intended to accelerate development, improve public services and community welfare. This is none other than considering that Papua is very large. The area of ​​Papua Island is around 786,000 square kilometers.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has also emphasized that regional expansion in the land of Papua is an effort to create equitable development because the land of Papua is too large for only two provinces. To facilitate service coverage, new autonomous regions were built.

Regional expansion in Papua also comes from the aspirations of the Papuan people themselves. This aspiration has existed for several years and comes from various community groups in various regions.

With the new autonomous region, it is hoped that Papua will develop more rapidly and be on par with other developed regions in Indonesia. So that Indonesia-centric development is not just a concept but a shared spirit in advancing all regions of Indonesia, especially Bumi Cenderawdarling.

As an inseparable part of Indonesia, with unwavering commitment, the government continues to strive for the progress of Papua through various development and community empowerment initiatives. From infrastructure to education, the government has shown genuine interest in ensuring Papua grows and develops within the framework of the Republic of Indonesia, as a reflection of the spirit of unity and progress that cuts across the country.

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