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Vanuatu to submit UNGA resolution calling for West Papuan self-determination

The Republic of Vanuatu is seeking support from other Pacific islands towards a UN General Assembly resolution calling for the right to self-determination for West Papua, to be presented at the 74th session in September 2019. 

The draft text was presented last week at the Pacific foreign ministers' meeting in Apia, by Vanuatu's foreign minister, Ralph Regenvanu.

According to the Daily Post, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji expressed reservations about the draft resolution text.  

Last week Vanuatu also appointed a special envoy for West Papua, Lauri Lini, whose father is known as the founding father of Vanuatu. 

The move was welcomed by the United Liberation Movement of West Papua.

"Melanesian sovereignty runs deep in the veins of all ni-Vanuatu, and especially in Laura's family," the group's spokesperson, Mr Rumbiak was quoted by RadioNZ as sayinh. 

"In the 1970s both West Papua and Vanuatu were struggling for their independence. Vanuatu got there first and it was Laura's father, as Prime Minister, who pledged not to abandon West Papua or the Kanak of New Caledonia," he added. 

West Papua's independence movement seeks a referendum to vote on independence from Indonesian rule. 

Read more here, here and here