QUESTIONS CONCERNING WEST NEW GUINEA
(Masalah-Masalah Menyangkut Papua Barat)
In his annual report to the General Assembly on the work of the Orgahis Representative had made certain suggestions to the Indonesian Government in connection with the preparations for the act of free choice. Those included guaranteeing the population's basic rights and freedoms of expression, movement, and assembly, as provided for in article XXII of the Agreement; releasing West Irianese political prisoners; authorizing the return to the territory of exiles, with proper guarantees, so that they might participate in the act of free choice; and holding preliminary consultation with the representative councils in West Irian to determine methods and procedures to ascertain the will of the population as required by article XVIII of the Agreement.
With regard to the method for the act of free choice, the report continued, the Secretary-General's Representative, in discussions with the Indonesian authorities, had suggested the use of a mixed method of (a) "one man-one vote" in the more accessible and relatively advanced coastal localities, and (b) collective consultations (musyawarah) with the representatives of the people in less accessible and less advance areas of the interior.
The Secretary-General reported that the Indonesian Government, for its part, had confirmed its decision to hold consultations with the representative councils. It had freed and returned to the territory many political prisoners, and had authorized the return to the territory of West Irianese living abroad. The Indoensian Government had also informed the Secretary-General's Representative that, owing to the difficulties and special characteristics of the territory and in accordance with traditional political methods of Indonesia, it had decided to submit to the representative councils a method whereby the act of free choice would be implemented through the eight representative councils, which would be enlarged by an appropriate number of representatives elected by the people of West Irian to become consultative assemblies. The enlarged councils were to reach their decision by the Indonesian system of collective consultation (musyawarah) team. The councils has approved the method proposed by Indonesia; accordingly, the Government had taken measures towards the implementation of the act of free choice.
During March and April 1969, when the Indonesian Government had conducted consultations with the representative councils in the presence of the United Nations.
On 6 November 1969, the Secretary-General again reported to the General Assembly concerning the act of self-determination in West Irian. In his report, the Secretary-General drew attention to the annexed final reports submitted to him by his Representative and by the Indonesian Government, which described in detail the arrangements, conduct and results of the act of free choice.
The Secretary-General said that his Representative had rendered advice to the Government of Indonesia at all stages of the operation. The Indonesian Government had sometimes accepted his advice, but on other occassions it had not found it possible to follow his counsel.
The Secretary General noted the reservation expressed in his Representative's report concerning the implementation of the article XXII of the Agreement relating to "the rights, including the rights of free speech, freedom of movement and of assembly, of the inhabitants of the area. (The Secretary-General's reference was to his Representative's comment that, in spite of his constant efforts, that important provision was not fully implemented and the Administration had exercised at all times tight political control over the population)
The secretary General also noted that his Representative had concluded his report with the observation that "with the limitation imposed by the geographical" characteristics of the territory and the general political situation in the area, an act of free choice has taken place in West Irian, in accordance with Indonesian practice, in which the representatives of the population have expressed their wish to remain with Indonesia.:
The act of free choice, The Secretary-General said, had been held between 14 July and 2 August 1969, when the enlarged councils, which had included a total of 1,026 members, had been asked to pronounce themselves on behalf of the people of West Irian, whether they wished to remain with Indonesia or sever their ties with it.
Without dissent, all enlarged councils had pronounced themselves in favor of the territory remaining with Indonesia.
In a letter date 11 November 1969 to the Secretary-General, Indonesia and the Netherlands transmitted the text of a joint communiqué issued in Manila, the Philippines, on 10 November 1969 concerning the establishment of a special fund in the Asian Development Bank for the development of West Irian. The communiqué said that the Netherlands Government had decided to make an initial contribution of 17.5 million guilders (f. 17,500,000) to the fund that the Indonesian contribution would consist of financing local costs. Confidence was expressed that, in view of the urgent need for the development of West Irian, other countries would also make contribution to the proposed fund. (For information about the United Nations aid for West Irian - the Fund of the United Nations for the Development of West Irian (FUNDWI) - see pp. 296-7)
CONSIDERATION BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The General Assembly discussed the Secretary-General's report of 6 November 1969 at plenary meetings held between 19 and 19 November 1969. Before the Assembly was a draft resolution sponsored by Belgium, Indonesia, Luxemburg, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Thailand, which would have the Assembly:
(1) take note of the report of the Secretary-General and acknowledge with appreciation the fulfillment by the Secretary-General and his Representative of the tasks entrusted to them under the 1962 Agreement between Indonesia and the Netherlands; and (2) express appreciation of any assistance provided through the Asian Development Bank, through institutions of the United Nations or through other means to the Indonesian Government in its efforts to promote the economic and social development of West Irian.
Introducing the draft of resolution, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia said that his Government had carried out its responsibility to hold the act of free choice for the people of West Irian, with the assistance, advice and participation of the Secretary-General's Representative, and that the implementation of the final phase of the Agreement was not only the honoring of an international agreement but also the end of a long struggle for the unity and territorial integrity of Indonesia.
The Indonesian minister stated that it was easy to criticize the implementation of such a complex political exercise, especially when measuring it by so-called international standards that did not necessarily fit to conditions and situations in Asia. West Irian was one of the most undeveloped regions of the world, and the special circumstances prevailing there, as well as the complex political background of the question, should be taken into account. The people of West Irian had firmly expressed their will to remain a part of Indonesia.
The Foreign Minister of the Netherlands stated that the interests of the people of West Irian had been the paramount concern of the Netherlands: his country would continue to translate that concern into concrete action that would reflect the modified circumstances.
The Secretary-General and his Representative had carried out their tasks in a exemplary manner, the Netherlands representative said. However, doubts on the part of the Netherlands with respect to the 1962 Agreement had not been moved in the final phase of its implementation. The report of the Secretary-General's Representative confirmed, to some extent, that those doubts were not unjustified, he added. Nevertheless, the Netherlands recognize and abide by the outcome of the act of self-determination.
The method and procedures applied in the implementation of the act of free choice were widely commented upon.
Ghana and Sierra Leone were among members that expressed reservation concerning the method followed and considered that the people of West Irian had not exercised their right to self-determination within the meaning of the Indonesian-Netherlands Agreement.
Ghana noted it was a matter of record that Indonesia had rejected the method proposed by the Secretary-General's Representative for the act of free choice. Because of the questionable method used in ascertaining the will of the West Irian people, Ghana could not subscribe to a draft resolution that sought a gloss over what it considered to be essential violations of the 1962 Agreement.
Ghana consequently proposed an amendment to the draft resolution. Bu the amendment, the Assembly would:
(1) take note of the report of the Secretary-General and acknowledge with appreciation the fulfillment by the Secretary-General and his Representative of the tasks entrusted to them under the 1962 Agreement between Indonesia and the Netherlands; (2) decide that the people of West Irian should be given a further opportunity, by the end of 1975, to carry out the act of free choice envisaged in the Agreement, and (3) express appreciation of any assistance provided through the Asian Development Bank, through institutions of the United Nations or through other means to the Indonesian Government in its efforts to promote the economic and social development of West Irian.
Togo also expressing misgivings about the method chosen, recalled that the General Assembly, by its resolution (1514) of 14 December 1960 (on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples), had emphasized that a lack of political, economic, and social preparation could never serve as a pretext to delay independence of any country. Togo supported Ghanaian amendment. Dahomey and the Democratic Republic of Congo also expressed support for the Ghanaian amendment.
Speaking in support of the six-power draft resolution, Algeria, Burma, India, Iran, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand variously stated that the issue before the Assembly was NOT one of self-determination of the national unity, but of the affirmation of the national unity and and territorial integrity of the Republic of Indonesia. West Irian was a SPECIAL CASE. India said, and the method used for the act of free choice there could not be considered under any circumstances a precedent for cases of self-determination in territories still under colonial domination.
Moreover, Malaysia pointed out, the Agreement was bilateral; any objection or reservation about its implementation should come from the Netherlands and not from the Assembly, which was only called upon to take not (in witness) of the Secretary-General's report.
Saudi Arabia added that the amendment submitted by Ghana did not seek to amend the draft resolution but rather an agreement between two Member States.
Indonesian stressed that no approval was required either of the Agreement itself or of the Secretary-General's report; Indonesia could not accept the Ghanaian amendment in its present form.
On 19 November, a motion by Ghana to have a paragraph by paragraph vote on its amendment was rejected by a vote of 58 to 31, with 24 abstentions.
The Ghanaian amendment as a whole was then put to the vote and was rejected by a roll-call cote of 60 to 15, with 39 abstentions.
At the request of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the phrase "Takes note of report of the Secretary-General" in the first operative paragraph of the six-power draft resolution was voted on separately and was adopted by 80 votes to 6, with 14 abstentions. The first paragraph as a whole was the adopted by 86 cotes to 0, with 27 abstentions.
The test as a whole was adopted as Resolution 2504 (XXIV) by a roll-call vote of 84 to 0, with 30 abstentions. (For text of resolution and voting details, see DOCUMENTARY REFERENCE below).
RESOLUTION 2504 (XXIV),
as proposed by six-powers, AL.574, adopted by Assembly on 19 November 1969, meeting 1813, by roll-call vote of 84 to 0, with 40 abstentions as follows:
In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Burma, Byelorussia SSR, Colombia, Canada, Ceylon, Chile, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Guinea, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Luxemburg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, The Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Southern Yemen, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukrainian, SSR, USSR, United Arab Republic, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Yemen, and Yugoslavia.
Against: — n o n e —-
One of the top US wartime intelligence officers, who played an important role in the US government during the postwar struggle for Indonesia independence, was Dean Rusk (later Secretary of State for President Kennedy). Rusk headed the Rockefeller Foundation in the 1950s.
A third American to be included as one of those aware of the remarkable wartime oil discovery in West Papua was the former top lawyer of Standard Oil, was Allen Dulles. Dulles resumed his position in 1962 after President Kennedy forced him to resign from his position as Director the Central Intelligence Agency.
In mentioning Dulles, de Mohrencshildt and Rusk, we are touching on the subject of how the military-industrial complex in the USA wielded influence in the US government, for the influence it had then, and still has today, in undermining Papuan Self-Determination was, and is, immense.
(2) Appreciates any assistance provided through the Asian Development Bank, through institutions of the United Nations or through other means to the Government of Indonesia in its efforts to promote economic and social development in West Irian.
Plenary Meeting - 1813 19 December 1969
A. The Resolution only acknowledged:
Fulfillment of tasks of the UN Secretary-General in the implementation of the 1962 New York Agreement.
Completion of 'questionable' process of an 'Act of Free Choice' not on 'Act of Self-Determination', and although the whole process was featured by reported number of intimidations, human rights violations and abuses.
International assistance provided to Indonesia, for social and economic development of West Papua.
B. The Resolution did not clearly define:
International recognition of the territorial status of West Papua as integral part of the Republic of Indonesia.
The suspension of decolonization process and removal of West Papua from the UN Decolonization List