The President received a Mission from Solomon Islands
Press Release #1608-04
Palikir, Pohnpei FSM Information Services
August 09, 2016

On August 23, 2016, President Peter M. Christian received a delegation from the Government of Solomon Islands.  The delegation headed by Mr. Rence Sore, Secretary of Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG) and the PIDF Chair, and accompanied by Mr. Octovianus Mote, Secretary General of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua. The delegation was dispatched by the Government of Solomon Islands to promote an initiative by the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Honorable Manasseh Sogavare, to put together a Pacific Islands Coalition for West Papua (PICoWP). The delegation also extended to President Christian an invitation from the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands to join the other Pacific Island Leaders and attend a meeting of the Coalition for West Papua scheduled to take place in Honolulu on September 2, 2016. 

Despite some reservations about diplomatic protocol, President Christian accepted the delegation’s request for a courtesy visit out of his respect for Prime Minister Sogavare. He welcomed the delegation and thanked them for traveling this far to meet him.  After a briefing on the current events in West Papua and the Coalition’s Plan of Activities, President Christian shared his views with the delegation on the two main issues of independence or self-government for West Papua and the allegations of human rights violations in West Papua.

FSM believes strongly that the issue of independence or self-government for West Papua must be resolved peacefully and through the internal processes agreed to by all the concerned parties. Resolution of this important issue must be through a negotiated process whereby all the concerned parties can support and honor the outcome.

President Christian also informed the Solomon Islands delegation that FSM honors the international conventions on human rights and does not condone any violations of such conventions.  Human rights are universal rights that cannot be denied any group of people. As a member of the United Nations, the President reaffirms his willingness to work with the other Pacific Island Forum countries in whatever coordinated effort or initiative that can be presented to the United Nations for the immediate resolution of the alleged violations of human rights in West Papua.

The delegation will depart Thursday to the Marshall Islands to also meet with the RMI Leaders for the same reasons before heading to the Coalition of West Papua meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.