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TRANSCRIPT: Mr. Edward Walker(Australia): "Mr. Chairman, let us never forget that the Indonesian claim does not merely pertain to territory. We are dealing here with people. The United Nations cannot ignore their interests or preclude their rights to be consulted about their political future. We cannot impose on them an irrevocable association with Indonesia when there is no evidence that is the wish of the local population. In essence, the Indonesian case is that the people of Western New Guinea, the Papuans, who are very different from the people of Indonesia, are to be handed over with the support and blessing of the United Nations as one nation to another, to be compulsorily separated for ever from their fellows in the great island of New Guinea. Mr. Chairman, what they ask for amounts to this. The issue as brought to the committee by Indonesia is purely and simply a claim to the transfer of territory and population. It is not a colonial issue. There is no indigenous popular movement in Netherlands New Guinea which demands union with Indonesia. There is no threat to the peace arising from conditions in Western New Guinea. In fact, the situation is perfectly quiet and normal there, as it has been throughout the last 7 years. It is surely anomalous that a country which has only recently gained its own independence should demand that the United Nations give support and encouragement to its claim that million people, indigenous inhabitants of Netherlands' New Guinea, be brought under its control without any prospect of choosing their own political future.
On the other hand, the Netherlands offers them the promise of self-determination as soon as they are able to make the step. Mr. Chairman, we in Australia believe that the people of Western New Guinea must be assisted to prepare for self-government. We believe that the view of the United Nations and the joint Netherlands-Australian statement represents, I submit, a positive and constructive policy for the future of New Guinea.
Last year and the year before we learned nothing in the Assembly of any reason why the United Nations should feel the least concern at the possibility that the peaceful development of Netherlands New Guinea would be in danger. Why must such a contingency be brought up this year? We are now told by official Indonesian statements that if the claim to Netherlands New Guinea is not satisfied, Indonesia will have to employ other means, must embark on another course. That is what the method which will startle the world forms.
Only two months ago, the General Assembly declined to endorse Indonesia's claim to this territory. Now apparently Indonesia considers it appropriate to come back to the Assembly again, this time with a background of statements that I am sorry to say, sound very much like threats. If the United Nations accepts this foundation for promoting the prosecution of territorial claims in the United Nations by one member state against another, it will be contrary to the Charter, and a most dangerous precedent."
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