Brussels, 1 September 2021/OACPS: The Secretary-General of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), H.E. Mr Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, in keeping with the Decision of the OACPS Council of Ministers at its 111th Session in December 2020, and following the dispatch of a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) on behalf of the OACPS, issues the present Statement on the implementation of the Decision.

The OACPS Council of Ministers, at the 111th Session held virtually on 14, 15 and 17 December 2020, under the presidency of H.E. Prof. Palamagamba John Aidan Mwaluko Kabudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation, United Republic of Tanzania, adopted Decision No. 9, “Decision on the Human Rights situation in West Papua”, which refers to Resolution No 3 of the 110th Session of the Council of Ministers in Nairobi, Kenya on 7 December 2019.

The Decision, as proposed by the OACPS Committee of Ambassadors and adopted by the Council of Ministers, mandated the President to write to the High Commissioner of the UNHCHR to request, “an urgent mission to West Papua to provide an evidence-based, informed report on the human rights situation in that province”; and for the Secretary-General to issue a statement on the implementation of the Decision.

Accordingly, a letter on behalf of the OACPS was sent on 27 June 2021, under the hand of the then President-in-Office of the OACPS Council of Ministers, the Hon. Mr. Jeremiah Manele, Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of the Solomon Islands, to the UNHCHR.

The OACPS recognises that Indonesia exercises full sovereignity over the province of West Papua. Secretary-General Chikoti, however, reiterates the unwavering commitment of the OACPS to human rights, the rule of law and democratic principles. Furthermore, The Secretary-General acknowledges the work of the leaders of the Pacific Island Forum on the situation in West Papua, and in keeping with the principles of subsidiarity and complementarity, will continue to receive updates and guidance from the Forum.