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Give independence to island territories

Islands Business - May 21, 2014

Pacific civil societies are calling on all Pacific Islanders across the region to renew support for decolonisation of Pacific communities still under colonial rule.

A joint Pacific Regional Non Governmental Organisations Alliance PRNGO front made the call today to free indigenous people in Guam, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Tokelau and West Papua so they could chart their own future.

PRNGO spokesperson and Pacific Council of Churches official, Peter Emberson urged Pacific islanders in all walks of life to stand up and speak out and actively engage in the struggle.

"The right of people in non self governing territories, whose countries are ruled by colonial administrations, to determine their own political future, and we call on our Pacific peoples in all walks of life to stand up, speak out and be actively engaged in their struggle," he said.

Emberson said it is also the duty of colonisers or administering powers to prepare the indigenous people in these territories to exercise their right to self-determination which is also mandated by international law.

"The peoples of our non self governing territories have not given up. They have been repressed, their rights taken away, they have been tortured and killed, imprisoned, and pushed to the margins of political and economic life but they are not backing down," Emberson said.

PRNGO's fresh calls for self-autonomy coincides with the United Nation's special committee on decolonisation Pacific Regional seminar hosted by Fiji that opened at Nadi today.

Rapa Nui or Easter Island (which is governed by Chile) is seeking admission to the UN list of Non Self Governing Territories whilst West Papua (regarded a province of Indonesia) is seeking re-enlistment to the Non Self Governing Territory List.

The theme of the Nadi meeting is to accelerate implementing the 3rd International decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2011-2020).

The seminar is held under the auspices of the Special Committee of 24 and will review the situation with respect to 17 territories being considered by the Special Committee in June and then referred to the UN General Assembly when it convenes.

Source: http://www.islandsbusiness.com/news/fiji/5400/give-independence-to-island-territories/.

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