I wish to update all media organisations and solidarity groups on the ULMWP leadership change produced by the 1st ULMWP Congress, which took place in West Papua from November 20th–23rd. The congress was attended by over 5000 people from all seven customary regions of West Papua. As part of the final Congress Resolutions, the people issued the following appointments:

  • Hon. Benny Wenda as President of ULMWP Provisional Government
  • Rev. Edison Waromi as Prime Minister of ULMWP Provisional Government
  • Mr. Bucthar Tabuni as Chairman of the West Papua Council
  • Mr. Diaz Gwijangge as Head of the Judiciary

As the Congress is the highest body according to our constitution, and has the authority to appoint and dismiss the President and Prime Minister, this is an immediately effective change in the ULMWP leadership.

The Congress also reaffirmed the existence of the ULMWP Provisional Government, Provisional Constitution, and cabinet, with 12 departments continuing to operate on the ground in West Papua.

I am greatly honoured to have been chosen as ULMWP President. This is the largest internal gathering of ULMWP representatives in history, and the first popular mandate any leader has received. It was held in Jayapura, on West Papuan soil, and endorsed by people from all 7 customary regions of West Papua, all 7 Executive and 7 Legislative members of the ULMWP, and all 3 of the ULMWP’s armed wings, collectively comprising the West Papua Army.

Through this Congress, we are implementing democracy before we achieve independence – the West Papuan struggle is in the hands of the people. The Congress Resolutions reaffirm the ULMWP roadmap of a) MSG full membership b) a OHCHR visit to West Papua c) a resolution at the UN.

I am ready and willing to work with all lawyer groups, parliamentary groups, academic and solidarity groups, in Melanesia, the wider Pacific, and around the world, in order to continue implementing our constitution and working towards our unified goal of self-determination and independence.

Benny Wenda