In a historic moment for West Papua, Benny Wenda has expressed his deep honour at being elected President of the ULMWP (United Liberation Movement for West Papua) Provisional Government during the recently concluded Congress in Port Numbay.
Edison Waromi, elected as Prime Minister, shares in the joy, and both leaders underscore their commitment to the people’s mandate in the pursuit of freedom.
“The Congress is the highest body according to our constitution, representing the people’s will and the future democracy we envision for our liberated country,” states Wenda.
He extends his readiness to collaborate with various groups, both inside and outside West Papua, including the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB), the Alliance of Papuan Students (AMP), religious leaders, solidarity groups, and the founding fathers NRFPB, WPNCL, and PNWP.
Prime Minister Edison Waromi is set to work with the seven Regional Executives, adhering to the constitutional framework.
The leaders aim to engage with international mechanisms for a peaceful self-determination referendum, viewing it as the definitive solution to the Papua conflict. “Our strength comes from our unity: one people, one soul,” emphasises President Wenda.
Reflecting on the historical significance of the Congress, Wenda draws parallels with the 2000 Papua People’s Congress, a pivotal moment in their struggle for liberation. Despite setbacks, including imprisonment, Wenda highlights the progress made since 1961 and emphasises the importance of recognising and celebrating major Congresses in their history.
The resolutions issued by the Congress mark a critical juncture, superseding and dissolving previous legal foundations of the ULMWP. President Wenda welcomed these resolutions, particularly the reaffirmation of their roadmap for a UN visit to West Papua and gaining full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). He called for the respect of these resolutions by all parties involved.
Expressing gratitude for international support, President Wenda acknowledges the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS), and the MSG for issuing communiques supporting a UN visit. He pledges collaboration with groups like KNPB and the Alliance of Papuan Students to find a solution collectively.
In a final call, President Benny Wenda urged all West Papuans, regardless of their circumstances, to rally behind the ULMWP and support the common goal of peacefully achieving freedom.