Vanuatu's Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil has used a speech before the United Nations in Switzerland to voice his support for the Melanesian people living in the Indonesian Province of Papua.
Vanuatu has long provided refuge and support for members of the West Papua independence movement who have left their homeland, claiming they are escaping persecution by the Indonesian ministry. While the previous Vanuatu government tried to strengthen its links to Indonesia, and appeared to distance itself from the independence supporters living there, since coming to power last year the government of Mr Carcasses has publicly pledged its support. Earlier this year it boycotted a Melanesian Spearhead Group ministerial mission to Indonesia, after its intended purpose, of investigating the claims of the movement, was changed by organisers at the last minute.
Speaking overnight in Geneva as the UN"s current session of the Human Rights Council, Prime Minister Carcasses pulled no punches in his criticism of Indonesia.