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The United Nations and the Indonesian Takeover of West Papua, 1962-1969: The Anatomy of Betrayal Kindle Edition
|Length: 256 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Language: English|
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from the French revolution to world wars 1 and 2 Now the syllabus should cover all the wars since then and most importantly the ruthless and
illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel and the Zionist Jews and the ruthless and illegal occupation of West Papua by the Indonesians. The two
most horrific examples of injustice in modern times. And highlights the utter failure of the UN which now does not seem to concern itself with
injustice one iota
On 15 August 1962 representatives of the Netherlands and the Republic of Indonesia signed an accord at United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. This accord, which has become known as the New York Agreement, `explicitly acknowledged and guaranteed the right of self-determination for West Papua' by Saltford's analysis. The UN, the Netherlands, and Indonesia were obligated by the New York Agreement to protect the political rights and freedoms of the Papuans and to hold a referendum in accordance with international practice. However, Cold War politics and the interests of `big power,' Saltford argues, meant that Papuan self-determination was never considered to be a serious option once the New York Agreement was signed.
The United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) administered West Papua from 1 October 1962 to 1 May 1963. Saltford has documented how the UNTEA banned Papuan nationalist marches during this period. Indonesian military troops also began a campaign of violence against Papuan nationalists while UN administrators were still ostensibly in control of the territory.
According to the preamble of the UN Charter, one of the aims of this international body is`to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained.' The Anatomy of Betrayal details how the UN ignored the obligations of the New York Agreement. In West Papua the UN violated its' own mandate, by Saltford's analysis.
Indonesian rule of West Papua began on 1 May 1963, before any act of self-determination had taken place. Military operations against Papuan nationalists intensified once Indonesian administration officially began.
In 1969 `The Act of Free Choice' was conducted by Indonesian authorities, Saltford argues, in order to give the false outward appearance that Papuans supported the transfer of authority to Indonesia. This fulfilled the terms of the 1962 New York Agreement which stipulated that Indonesia, under UN supervision, would conduct an act of self-determination `in accordance with international practice.' What contemporary Papuans call `The Act of No Choice' was an unanimous vote by 1,022 carefully selected `representatives.' Saltford details the UN role in monitoring and endorsing this controversial consultation. `The vote was a complete sham' according to a senior UN official quoted by Saltford.
The Anatomy of Betrayal is an important reference work for historians of the Cold War, scholars of post-colonial Southeast Asia, and policy makers who seek to understand the roots of Papuan nationalism. Saltford's documentation is thorough, and at times daunting. An Indonesian language translation of this study-eagerly awaited by Papuan intellectuals-is already in the works. Saltford's exhaustive study of UN sources about the Indonesian acquisition of West Papua is one of the very first academic books about the post-colonial history of West Papua. This book has broken significant ground and sets the stage for future research on related topics with the vast wealth of rich and varied source materials that remain unstudied.
S. Eben Kirksey completed his Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness Program of the University of California at Santa Cruz. Currently he is writing a book titled "Freedom in Entangled Worlds: Lived Experiences of Possibility in West Papua."
Reprinted from the IIAS Newsletter
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