Notes of the Head of the Melanesian Youth Forum, Steve R. Mara, in Response to the MSG Decision on ULMWP
This article is my note on the writings of several people in Papua who responded to the decision on the results of the MSG, including notes from Mr. Socratez Yoman previously regarding “Indonesia Struggles Not to Hinder/Thwart ULMWP from Becoming a Full Member of the MSG”.
Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Summit
The MSG Summit in Port Villa, Vanuatu on 23-24 August 2023 has just ended. MSG Leaders have produced a final agreement as outlined in the “Communique” .
The most obvious fact is that the ULMWP’s application to become a full member of the MSG was rejected by the MSG Summit because it did not meet the criteria for being a member of the MSG. In point 13, paragraph 1 of the Communique it is stated that “…ULMWP does not meet the existing criteria for Membership under the Agreement Establishing the MSG that will warrant grant of membership status”.
I don’t know how ULMWP supporters can sleep so soundly, when reading this fact. However, it must be admitted that it is not easy to be able to spread the news of the truth. Some fundamental things from the Comminuque MSG are deliberately hidden from the people of Papua.
What for me is the most important part of the MSG Summit, namely, the MSG Summit’s firm recognition of Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua “Reaffirmed the sovereignty of Indonesia over West Papua” (Point 9, paragraph ii of the Communique).
My question is whether these results will enable Mr. Socratez Yoman, who makes notes on boiling stones, to be able to boil stones and break them up. After reading the facts above. Remembering before that you said “Indonesia continues to boil stones but the stones will never break”.
Why was the ULMWP rejected?
As a note, in the discussion regarding the ULMWP application at the MSG Summit Session on 23 August 2023, Indonesia as an Associate Member of MSG did not participate in the discussion. This is in accordance with MSG rules/procedures/procedures. The discussion took place closed among Full Members without the presence of Associate Members and Observers.
As far as I understand, that every application as a new MSG member must meet the criteria set by the MSG New Membership Guidelines which were established in 2018.
There are two reasons why the ULMWP will never meet the criteria as a member of the MSG, namely:
First, ULMWP will never be able to commit to the Vision, Principles, Values and Objectives of the MSG, as stipulated in the MSG Formation Agreement. Especially regarding the principle of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Second, ULMWP is also not a subject of international law that can accede (bind itself) to international agreements, such as the MSG Formation Agreement. Under international law, only States or International Organizations are allowed to accede to international treaties.
It is important to share this fact! Remember that, if you don’t want to fall tomorrow then tell the truth today. We can interpret information like the parable of the spirit in the Bible 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they come from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
The fact that we must understand in the future?
The contents of the Communique of the MSG Summit actually also contained encouragement to strengthen cooperation with Indonesia, among other things, the MSG Secretariat was asked to explore social issues, economic development and empowerment of Papuans within the framework of the Papua Special Autonomy Law (Point 13 of the Communique). I think this can be a good opportunity for all parties to explain Papua’s progress, after the enactment of the Papua Special Autonomy Law.
In the same point, the MSG Secretariat was also asked to prepare the concept of a “Constructive Engagement Platform”, which in essence is a meeting of the MSG and Indonesian Parliament within the framework of strengthening cooperation and can also be a mechanism to discuss issues of mutual interest including development progress in Papua. What is important to underline here is the view of the MSG to expand cooperation, not only at the government level, but also between parliaments.
In that section, there is indeed a description regarding human rights (HAM) and a proposed visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Papua. This is actually nothing new. The fulfillment of human rights for the people is an important reality in all progressive countries. No country can claim to be perfect in fulfilling its human rights.
Considering that Indonesia has been trusted by the international community many times to become a Member of the UN Human Rights Council, of course Indonesia has experience in responding to various proposals related to efforts to improve human rights.
However, once again, it is important to keep in mind the contents of the MSG Summit Communique point 13, article vii, “Reinforced that the membership of the MSG must be limited only to Sovereign and Independent States with the special arrangement for FLNKS”. This is an affirmation that MSG membership is limited only to Independent and Sovereign Countries.
So I invite us to be honest in presenting the data and facts. Lies are not a good thing. But sometimes, lies are proclaimed and spread with joy. Without caring about others who were caught in confusion. Truly, I would like to call on all parties to use reason to fight lies by anyone.
Abraham Lincoln’s words need to be pondered that no human being is capable of being a successful fraudster because of the limited capacity of his memory “No man has a good memory enough to be a successful wild man”.
For this reason, it is time for us to leave the political affairs of independence and step up to prepare for a better future for Papua within the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. We have to be smart, we have to be smart in various fields, don’t be lulled by the momentary dreams that are shared with us.
This dream makes us forget that in Papua there are many doors that have been opened, and each of these doors requires qualified and competitive human resources for young Papuans. If we are preoccupied with the political dream of independence, then our competence will be lacking and other people will casually come from other regions to take our seats in the land of Papua.
Steve R. Mara,
Chair of the Melanesian Youth Diplomacy Forum.