Pacific leaders call out Indonesia at UN over West Papua

Three Pacific leaders have called out Indonesia at the UN for their human rights abuses in West Papua.

Vanuatu's prime minister Charlot Salwai, a longtime supporter of West Papuan self-determination, told the General Assembly in New York that decolonisation must remain on the UN agenda.

He said the Human Rights Council must investigate human rights abuses in the Indonesian provinces.

The Marshall Islands president, Hilda Heine, told the assembly's 73rd session that the Pacific Islands Forum supported "constructive engagement" with Indonesia on the issue.

While Tuvalu's prime minister Enele Sopoaga continued his call for recognition of the indigenous people.

"The United Nations must also engage with the people of West Papua to find lasting solutions to their struggles."

Indonesia rejected what it called attacks on its sovereignty with vice president Muhammad Jusuf Kalla demanding respect for its territorial integrity.

He added that he "deplores" countries supporting separatist movements.