Prime Minister of Fiji and Chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group
Voreqe Bainimarama received representatives of the West Papua National
Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) in Suva, Fiji this week, in their quest
for membership to the Melanesian bloc.
The WPNCL was led by Dr Otto Ondowame, the Vice Chairman of the
grouping and included Mr Rex Rumakiek, the Secretary General and Mr
Barrack Sope, former Prime Minister of Vanuatu and adviser to the WPNCL.
In welcoming the delegation, Prime Minister Bainimarama acknowledged
receiving the WPNCL’s expression of interest to join the Melanesian
Group and informed them that this is a process which will require
extensive consultation amongst members of the organization. He advised
that once a decision has been reached by members, the WPNCL will be
informed of the outcome.
On behalf of the WPNCL, Vice Chairman Ondawame thanked Prime Minister
Bainimarama for taking the time to meet with the delegation and hear
from them directly, their reasons for submitting their application.
They also commended him for leading the people of Fiji well during
these challenging times and also his overall leadership of the MSG over
the past two years which has seen MSG gain prominence in regional
They noted that under Fiji’s Chairmanship, the MSG has advanced
issues relating to the process for decolonization in New Caledonia,
trade, economic and cultural issues which have further strengthened the
grouping and expressed their appreciation to the Prime Minister for
acknowledging their application to be a part of this young and dynamic
The WPNCL is the umbrella organization of the West Papuan
independence movement established in 2008 and is based in Port Vila,
Vanuatu. The objective of the WPNCL is to organize and coordinate
programs and activities to restore or reclaim Papuan people’s right of
self-determination and independence. In their MOU signed at their last
Summit in April 2008, they declare their motto to be ‘one people one
soul’ – different organizations bound by their Papuan Identity.
Within the WPNCL, there are 28 Papuan political parties and NGOs
located in West Papua and others that are based overseas. They claim to
represent the 2.5million people of West Papua.
The delegation also congratulated Prime Minister on his assumption of
the Chairmanship of the G77 and wished him well in his role, a first
for the region.
Prime Minister Bainimarama expressed his appreciation to the
WPNCL for taking the time to visit Fiji to meet with him and the
Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke
Kubuabola and informed them that he will maintain close contact with his
colleagues on the matter and will inform them through the MSG
Secretariat of the Leaders decision.