West Papua’s application to become a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group has gained traction, with MSG Leaders referring the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to the MSG Secretariat for deliberation.
Prime Minister & MSG Chair, Peter O’Neill, made this known at the conclusion of the Leaders’ Summit on Wednesday afternoon.
According to Mr O’Neill, the leaders of Melanesia have approved new criteria guidelines for observers, associate members and full members to the sub-regional grouping.
Currently, the ULMWP has an observer status to the MSG, with Indonesia already an associate member to this sub-regional grouping.
However, with this new move, West Papua, or the ULMWP at least could be one step closer to becoming a full member of MSG.
ULMWP Leader, Benny Wenda, was present at the closing of the MSG Leaders’ Summit, and was pleased with the outcome.
When addressing Melanesian Leaders, Wenda called on the MSG to support West Papua, in the same way that the MSG had shown support for the FLNKS in New Caledonia in their push for independence.
Indonesia, however, called on the MSG to respect its sovereignty, calling the West Papuan issue an internal matter – their comments not go down well with Mr Wenda, when speaking to EMTV.
“West Papua Is a Melanesian issue, which must be dealt with by Melanesians – Indonesia is not Melanesia.”