UN chief calls for immediate climate action to ‘save Pacific – and world’ – West Papua No.1 News Portal
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UN chief calls for immediate climate action to ‘save Pacific – and world’

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres (centre) with Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and local leaders … “political will needed”. Image: Dan McGarry/Vanuatu Daily Post

Papua, Jubi – Vanuatu and other Pacific nations can teach a lesson to the world, says UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

“That lesson is very simple. We absolutely need to save the Pacific, and to save the world, that the temperatures will not rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.”

“And this needs a lot of political will.”

The UN head arrived in Vanuatu on Saturday with literal as well as metaphorical storm clouds looming on the horizon. An out-of-season cyclone north of Fiji brought low cloud and high winds to Vanuatu, casting a light drizzle on the tarmac as the Guterres disembarked from a Royal Australian Air Force Hercules.

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He was welcomed by representatives of the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs and given the high honour of passing under a pair of namele leaves as he entered the airport VIP lounge.

After a brief courtesy visit to the Head of State, where he toasted Vanuatu with a fresh coconut, the SG headed to the Prime Minister’s Office, where a bilateral meeting discussed climate change, as well as other priority matters, including Vanuatu’s continued support for decolonisation the world over.

Lip-service to West Papua

Guterres gave little more than lip-service to West Papua and other concerns, but he spoke passionately about the emerging climate emergency.

“The Pacific,” he said, “has the moral authority to request all countries to be able to abide by what the international community—and the scientific community—now consider essential: that temperatures will not rise more than 1.5 degrees by the end of the century, and for that purpose, that we reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

He insisted “that these objectives are possible. They only depend on political will.”

Later, in an interview with the AFP news agency, he said: “I was in Tuvalu yesterday, and to see the existential risks that Tuvalu is facing really breaks my heart.”

Asked if action was needed in 50 years, 20 years or next year, he said, “No. We have to deal with it immediately. We have the risk of making [climate damage] irreversible, and the targets that were fixed cannot be reached.”

Pacific Islanders have never seen such a high-level endorsement offered in-person and with evident sincerity.

But it is debatable whether that will translate into meaningful international action.

Actual progress?

If he thought there was any chance of finding a receptive audience in Washington, London—or Canberra, for that matter—Guterres would be saying those words there, not here.

And if it meant actual progress, Pacific islanders would be more than content to listen to them on the nightly news broadcast.

But with hardening attitudes among the most resource-rich nations, and the superpowers’ increasing fixation on trade wars and territorial disputes, it’s exceedingly difficult to see Guterres’ fervent entreaties having any impact whatsoever.

Less than a day after his surprise win in the Australian general election, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was being encouraged by Sky News commentators to walk away entirely from the nation’s remaining climate commitments.

The only substantial climate promises Australia has made to the Pacific relate to adaptation, not mitigation.

Australia signed the Boe Declaration along with all the other Pacific Island Forum countries. The declaration emphasises that the damage caused by a rapidly changing climate is the single greatest security threat the region faces.

Boe debate disappeared

But in the ensuing months, no mention whatsoever has been made of this by Australian diplomats or politicians. It has simply disappeared from their vocabulary.

And António Guterres is powerless in the face of this intransigence. His own speeches made no mention of Boe, presumably for fear of giving offence.

Given the opportunity, he refused to encourage Australian voters to think of the environment.

The most pressing global crisis facing the human species today has near-zero traction on the global stage.

There is no more striking evidence of this than the commendable but quixotic decision by António Guterres to use the Pacific as his backdrop in what will most likely be a vain attempt to build momentum for action. (*)

 

Source: Asia Pasific Report

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Individuals might take advantage of current situation in Papua for own interests to meet President Widodo

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Papua parliament member from the Democratic fraction, Emus Gwijangge. – Jubi/Arjuna

Jayapura, Jubi – Emus Gwijangge, Papua parliament member from the Democratic fraction, appeals to any individuals or groups to not exploit the current situation in Papua for their personal or group interests.

He said this to pointing some recent group meetings with President Joko Widodo in Jakarta. The first group, he mentioned, met the president and then proposed some requests, while another group claimed Papuan youth representatives met some state officials. And the most recently some officials of the Indonesian community group in Papua met President Widodo and asked the president to divide the region of Papua into seven indigenous territories in both Papua and Papua Barat provinces.

“Everyone has a right to meet the president. But please do not act on behalf of indigenous Papuans while requesting something to the president,” Gwijangge told Jubi on Wednesday (16/10/2019).

According to him, indigenous Papuans never ask for a title, new regional split or anything else. What they want is the central government sit together with them in a forum facilitated by the third parties addressing some issues that occurred in Papua.

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“What indigenous peoples want is a historical correction as well as the settlement of many cases of human rights violations in Papua. Therefore, the Melanesian race no needs to continue our contention against the central government. We shouldn’t go to Jakarta for asking so many random requests,” he said.

Moreover, he hopes President Widodo and other state officials should carefully accept the proposed meeting by any groups from Papua who claimed to represent indigenous peoples.

He said if the president and state officials want to meet indigenous Papuans, they must invite the indigenous representatives. Also, the provincial government officials, local parliament and Papua’s People Assembly members and religious leaders are there to consider.

“The sort of this representation would guarantee that the aspirations delivered to the president are coming from the indigenous Papuans. It would contribute to the future of our grandchildren for they would not be engaged in the same problems and continuously become victims,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Taufan Damanik, the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, said Komnas HAM has repeatedly advised President Jokowi to come to Papua for a dialogue. The president is suggested meeting people and any relevant stakeholders to solve problems in Papua.

However, he said, the president has contrary invited other groups, who claimed themselves as Papuan leaders, to Jakarta.

“Inviting a group of people from Papua to Jakarta is not what we meant, but the president himself needs to come to Papua,” said Ahmad Taufan. (*)

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Discrimination handling refugees hurts Papuans

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Papuan students studying in Java Island in a protest demanding justice for committed violence by the Indonesian military against civilians in Ndugama, Papua – Jubi/AMP Documentation

Jayapura, Jubi – The way government handling the humanitarian conflict in Papua has become a spotlight. Many people think the government are being discriminative in handling Nduga refugees compared to refugees from Wamena.

A native Ndugama Resina Lokbere said that she is discouraged seeing how the government differently treated refugees from both areas. “I see a huge difference approach here. Although the government always declare our national motto ‘unity in diversity’, but I have not seen this applied in Papua. A conflict in Nduga has occurred since 1 December 2018. Since then, Nduga residents must leave their villages and flee to other regions and the jungle to avoid a military operation,” she said.

Moreover, she said if the government are a concern in settling the humanitarian conflict in Papua, they should treat people fairly. The government should treat people equally, regardless of indigenous Papuans or non-Papuans.

“Thousands of youth and children drop out of school, and now they are living under poor health condition. There is economic loses as well. Who knows whether they will be survived or dead after a few months of suffering without enough food and water? I don’t know. Only God is the witness of their suffering,” said Resina whose relatives refuge from Nduga.

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In her view, the way the government handling the issue of refugees can create a barrier in society. She thinks the government has indirectly built a wall between one community to others.

“The government should not perceive conflicts in Nduga and Wamena merely from a political view but also a humanitarian aspect. They are all your people. They need you. They need your action, not your promises on the public stage,” she said.

Meanwhile, a local parliament member Laurenzus Kadepa also think the government has shown different response in handling refugees due to conflicts occurred in Nduga and Wamena.

According to him, he observed that the victims of conflict in Wamena were promptly evacuated or accommodated with adequate facilities. They had enough food and other basic needs during the evacuation. It was opposite to what had happened to Nduga residents. They had to walk for days from their villages to Wamena and other regions.

“While there was a lack of access to food aid distribution for Nduga residents, it didn’t happen for Wamena refugees. They had planes to transport them, shelter and enough food,” he said.

Seeing what has been happening lately in Papua, the relevant stakeholders in Papua and the central government should immediately think a solution to end this current complicated situation. (*)

Reporter: Agus Pabika

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Five bodies discovered in Mbua, allegedly shot by military culprits

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Excavation of five bodies discovered in Gua Batu, Mbua. – JapHAM Documentation

Jayapura, Jubi – Residents and activists from Pegunungan Tengah Human Rights Defender Networks (JapHAM) discovered five bodies on Thursday (10/20/2019) in Iniye Village, Mbua Sub-district, Nduga Regency. The bodies are suspected of the shooting victims of military culprits and covered by grass and leaves before being buried in one hole.

Nduga youth leader Samuel Tabuni, who is also a relative of the victims, said the victims left Wamena on 20 September for picking food supplies by car. They went together with a group of young men. Some group members then separated for taking food to their villages. Meanwhile, the victims took their supplies to Gua Batu, Gunung Kanbobo because they lived far away and decided to stay in Iniye Village.

“The next day on 21 September, the five victims went to take the food they stored at Gua Batu. Another group followed them later, but while they were walking, they heard gunfire. They were scared and decided not to continue to their walk to Gua Batu. They walked back to Ineye and called me,” Samuel Tabuni told on Thursday (10/10/2019).

However, after the call, he wasn’t sure about what had happened in Ineye. So he asked the police for further investigation. But the police said there was no report of the shooting incident in Mbua.

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“The victims are my relatives, so I must continue to find the truth. After twenty days, it finally reveals that allegedly military culprits have shotted these five people,” said Samuel Tabuni.

He said a resident who called him witnessed military personnel at around Gua Batu.

The five bodies later identified as Mrs Yuliana Dorggi (35), Mrs Jelince Bugi (25), Mrs Macen Kusumbrue (26), Tolop Bugi (13) and Hardius Bugi (15).

“Local people and JapHAM Pegunung Tengah led by Theo Hesegem discovered their bodies,” said Samuel Tabuni.

Meanwhile, Kodam (regional military command) XVII/Cenderawasih admitted to Jubi that they have not yet received any information regarding the shooting incident in Iniye Village.

“We have not received an official report from the local unit,” said Colonel Eko Daryanto, Kodam spokesperson, to Jubi via WhatsApp.

Since a military conflict occurred in Nduga in the early of December last year, 189 residents are reportedly dead because of starvation in a refugee camp or shot by the military and police. Following the incident, thousands of Nduga residents have fled, and 39 churches have vacated.

Currently, according to Samuel Tabuni, Nduga residents demand the government to withdraw the joint military and police troops from Nduga. Furthermore, Nduga urgently needs humanitarian aid to supply food, medicine and support from the international humanitarian organisation to conduct an independent investigation on human rights violations in Nduga.

Meanwhile, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe hope Nduga refugees are not treated differently with refugees from another conflict in Wamena.

“Nduga residents are also the Indonesian citizens who should be treated equally as other residents,” said Governor Enembe.

Further, he said the case of Nduga refugee is an extraordinary case related to a humanitarian issue.

Therefore, he said he already communicated with the regents of Jayawijaya and Lanny Jaya because most of Nduga refugees are currently staying in these two regencies. He asked the regents from both regencies to treat Nduga refugees well because they are also Papuan citizens who need the attention of the government. (*)

 

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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