WEST PAPUA CONFLICT BROUGHT TO ATTENTION OF US HIGH-LEVEL VISITOR
The West Papua conflict between the Indonesian Government and the Melanesian pro-independence people was amplified to the attention of a high-level visitor from the United States of America to Papua New Guinea.
On Wednesday, NCD Governor, Powes Parkop and fellow Hela Governor, Philip Undialu had the privilege of meeting with the US State Department Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO), Assistant Secretary Anne Witkowsky in the new US Embassy at the Harbor City in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
Governor Parkop is the Chairman of the Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment and Gender-Based Violence.
Using the the opportunity, Governor Parkop appealed to the US to assist in addressing the conflict in West Papua by preventing its escalation and promoting stability in the region.
Their dialogue centered around President Joe Biden’s 10-year plan to implement the US strategy to prevent conflict and promote stability in the region.
The plan outlines a targeted approach to integrating US diplomatic, development and security efforts in PNG toward three overarching shared objectives:
1. Strengthen community capacity to prevent, mitigate and respond to violence;
2. Support sustainable and equitable economic growth; and,
3. Improve justice systems and professionalize security forces.
Governor Parkop said in a media statement: “I welcome the 10-Year Strategic Plan for PNG, and as the Governor of the capital city, it is my top priority to prevent conflict and promote stability for the country’s diversity of a thousand tribes, especially among women.”
Assistant Secretary Witkowsky commended Governor Parkop’s leadership and administration and emphasized that the plan aims to cultivate strong partnerships across PNG society and to reinforce a local approach and consensus building, which are the core of the PNG way.
Governor Parkop who is the chairman of the Parliamentary committee took time briefing and explaining the work of the committee and the challenges it and the country face in achieving these national goals.
He appealed to the Assistant Secretary for US help, including technical support to help the country achieve these goals.
The meeting ended with Governor Parkop thanking the US Embassy for hosting the meeting.