Kalla dismisses Papuan referendum proposal by Pacific nations at UNGA

Kalla dismisses Papuan referendum proposal by Pacific nations at UNGA

Vice President Jusuf Kalla attends the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, the United States. (ANTARA/Vice Presidential Press Bureau)

There was no such agenda. Four of them (Pacific countries) have spoken earlier (at the forum), and none of them (came up with the proposal for referendum)
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla refuted a claim that Pacific countries had put forth a proposal on a Papuan referendum on self-determination during the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

"There was no such agenda. Four of them (Pacific countries) have spoken earlier (at the forum), and none of them (came up with the proposal for referendum). Moreover, we do not consider the issue that big to be discussing it at the UN General Assembly," Kalla noted in a written statement released on Friday.

The four Pacific nations -- Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Tonga -- spoke at the international forum, though none breached the topic of the Papuan referendum.

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Kalla affirmed that the 74th UNGA laid greater emphasis on lowering the poverty rate, conserving the environment, and maintaining health, so no country raised the issue of a Papuan referendum.

"Talks at the General Assembly mostly covered ways to reduce the poverty rate, (conserve) the environment, and (maintain) health. Several global problems should be discussed, so none of the Pacific countries touched on it," he stated.

The vice president explained that it is highly improbable for the UN to accept a proposal for a Papuan referendum on self-determination, as it had been conducted in 1969 through the Resolution of the UN General Assembly known as the People's Self Determination (Pepera).

"Do not forget that Papua is the result of the UN Resolution decided here (New York) in 1961. Hence, it is impossible (for the UN) to cancel the resolution. It is important to know (about it). Papua is different from East Timor that was not decided at the UN," he added.

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