West Papua delegation seeks support on MSG membership

Director General of the MSG Secretariat, Leonard Louma (second from right) meets with the ULMWP (January 2023)

A West Papua Delegation led by United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) Interim President, Benny Wenda has had discussions with the Leader of Opposition, Bob Loughman, on the ULMWP Application to Vanuatu as the Chairman of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), to ensure the application is approved by MSG for full membership in its meeting in Port Vila this year.

The delegation includes West Papua Interim Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Morris Kaloran, Head of Mission Freddy Warome, President of Vanuatu Free West Papua Association, Job Dalesa and Vango representative, Lai Sakita.

While Vanuatu has been the focal point for West Papua freedom for at least 42 years, the delegation is concerned that there is total silence from the current Ishmael Kalsakau Government on the issue.

Interim Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Kaloran confirmed that the Interim President of ULMWP is expected to travel to Fiji soon, to lobby Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka for his Government’s support for West Papua full membership of MSG.

Kaloran said it is a normal question to ask for Vanuatu’s position on the issue.

For this reason, the delegation would appreciate a clear indication on the Government’s stand on West Papua before the Interim President of ULMWP leaves for Fiji.

Following its meeting with the Leader of Opposition, Bob Loughman two days ago, the delegation left Parliament House with confidence that a way might be found. The delegation has also paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament, Seoule Simeon.