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September 28, 2020, 08.46 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.comIndonesia used its right of reply during the recent United Nations General Assembly to lash out at Vanuatu over its accusation of human rights violations in Papua.

“You are no representation of the people of Papua and stop fantasizing of being one,” said Silvany Austin Pasaribu, second secretary of Indonesia’s permanent mission at the United Nations on Saturday, September 26.

In the official United Nations video footage, Silvany said Vanuatu had an excessive and unhealthy obsession with how Indonesia should govern itself.

Vanuatu has been raising the issue of alleged human rights violations faced by the Papuans almost every year during the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Indonesian government considers this accusation as Vanuatu’s advocacy for separatism.

Also read: Indonesian Government Criticized for Prioritizing Economy Over Human Rights

“Indonesia will defend itself against any continuing advocacy of separatism conveyed under the guise of artificial human rights concern,” Silvany said.

The young diplomat said that the Provinces of Papua and West Papua are an irrevocable part of Indonesia since 1945. It has also been formally endorsed by the United Nations and the international community decades ago.

“The fundamental principle of the United Nations Charter that Vanuatu has failed to understand is to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries,” she said.

In the reply to a statement by Vanuatu’s prime minister Bob Loughman, Silvany also questioned how Vanuatu — that has yet to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and has yet to sign the international treaty on economic, social, and cultural rights — could teach Indonesia on the human rights issue in Papua.

Also read: Armed Group Attacks Government Office, Public Market in Indonesia’s Papua


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