Papua also known as New Guinea is the world's second largest
island and is on the northern edge of the Australian continental plate where
it is being pushed upwards as the plate slowly moves north.
Papua and the Australian continent were colonised by Melanesian ancestors
over fifty thousand years ago, later Asian and European incursions and
settlements failed until people in West Papua permitted a Dutch presence to
be established in the mid 19th century.
In Europe an agreement was reached by 1895 alleging that West Papua was a
Dutch territory, that the north east territory was German, and the south east
was British. During the First World War the Australian government seized
the German claim and Australia became the administrator of eastern Papua having
already been given administration of the Brtish claim by the British in 1905.
West Papua was successfully invaded by Japan in 1942 until liberated with
American help in 1944 after which the Dutch administration returned until
a second American intervention compelled the Dutch to sign an agreement asking
the United Nations in 1962 to occupy and administrate West Papua.
Since becoming subject to UN and Indonesian administration, there has been
massive resource exploitation such as by the American mining company
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, vast deforestation projects to
produce palm oil for Korean companies and to provide China and other nations
with Papua's merbau wood, to profit BP and corporations with Papua's
limited LNG resources, and by hundreds of other businesses that are owned by
Indonesian military (TNI) officers.
In the months before gaining control, Indonesia pressed the Australian
government to deport West Papuan students for
unspoken purpose, and on taking control imposed
Martial law conditions with mobile police
patrolling the streets with automatic weapons.
In September, Indonesia declared the territory was being quarantined and access
restricted to government approved visitors,
and two years later began admitting that it has been
killing indigenous citizens of the territory and their leaders.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed during the past fifty years
of Indonesian administration, and there is widespread belief that Jakarta and
it business friends have been conducting campaigns of murder, theft, and oppression.
Massacres such as in Biak in 1970 and
in 1996 have been an on-going and tragic theme.
And each month there are more non-judicial killings, political arrests, and
other oppressions of West Papuan human rights.
The systematic Indonesian murder and oppression of the West Papuan people was
studied and found to constitute genocide in the Yale Law School paper
"Indonesian Human Rights Abuses in West Papua: Application of the Law of Genocide to the History of Indonesian Control"
published in 2004.
A subsequent Sydney University paper
"Genocide in West Papua? - University of Sydney"
also considered whether the Indonesian transmigration program, the spread of
HIV/AIDS, and other factors are contributing to a program of genocide.
In August 1962 the newspapers published a Reuters story claiminig that the
Netherlands and Indonesia had signed an agreement to trade a colony between
The story is a fiction that has helped mislead the public and governments about
the true function of the agreement that the General Assembly was being asked
to approve without debate in September 1962.
Under international law the members of the United Nations do not own, and
therefore can not trade colonies or non-self-governing territories.
Under the Charter of the United Nations, non-self-governing
territories such as West New Guinea (West Papua) are the beneficaries of a
trust; a trusteeship described in either
- Chapter XI or in
- Chapters XII and XIII of the Charter.
In December 1950 the Netherlands said it was subject to the obligations of
UN Charter Chapter XII, article 73 (a "sacred trust") for the welfare
of the people of West Papua (until they achieved a "full measure of self-government"),
which the other nations agreed was true in UN
General Assembly resolution 448.
On 21st September 1962 in UN
General Assembly in resolution 1752
our nations decided to occupy West Papua with our choice of UN troops,
our nations approved an agreement asking that United Nations subjugate
West New Guinea (West Papua) while alleging that the motive or issue in mind
when writing the agreement was the
"interests and welfare of the people of the territory of West New Guinea (West Irian)".
Although Indonesian officials had
"not gone so far as to be willing to call a trusteeship a trusteeship"
the agreement commonly known as the 'New York Agreement' is an agreement as
defined in the UN "International Trusteeship System", Chapter XII of the Charter of the United Nations.
- As consequence of statute law, Charter of the United Nations
our nations became & remain the joint trustees for West Papua when our
governments allowed the General Assembly majority to approve an agreement as
defined in Article 85 part 1 of Chapter XII of
- Nothing in the agreement or in any other agreement can limit or end
our obligations under the Charter of the United Nations.(reference Article 103)
- Also as a common principle of law & equity, the agreement made our
nations the "trustee" for the "interests and welfare of the people"
both because the agreement actually says that was the goal when writing the
agreement, and because the agreement put our nations & the United Nations
in a position of ascendency (overpowering control) over the colony.
- It is a moral and legal fact that our governments remain responsible for
our action of imposing foreign control over the people of West Papua.
Neither our governments nor Indonesia have authority to decide issues regarding
the Charter of the United Nations, that power is in the exclusive juridiction
of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).