"At every annual statement of the Foreign Ministry, we emphasize that the South Pacific region is one of Indonesias foreign policy concerns," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said here on Thursday.
According to Marsudi, during the last three years, Indonesias presence and role were evident in all forums in the South Pacific region, such as the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and the Pacific Island Forum (PIF).
"In addition, when the South Pacific countries were affected by a disaster, Indonesia was one of the countries that sent aid," she remarked.
In relation to several South Pacific countries that addressed human rights issues in Papua at the UN General Assembly session, Marsudi revealed that it was the right of those countries to convey such issues, and Indonesia was also entitled to submit an explanation.
"In the general assembly of the United Nations, all countries are given freedom to express their thoughts. Some countries in the South Pacific conveyed the issue of Papua, it is their right. We too have the right to explain," she pointed out.
"At the UN forums, we discussed the comprehensive development in Papua," she concluded. (*)