Hon. Belden Norman Namah, MPLeader of the Opposition on Ukraine and West Papua

Approved for release: 10th of March 2022.

Prime Minister James Marape’s condemnation of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine has brought a sharp response from that country’s envoy to these country.
I call upon our Prime Minister to think carefully before committing the country to taking positions on conflicts in other parts of the world.

If we stand against tyranny and oppression and suppression of free people’s rights, including the right to free determination, then we must look no further than our Melanesian brothers next door in West Papua and our Pacific brothers in Kanaky.

They have been fighting for self determination for decades.
A firm position on these issues in our own backyard will show the world what our moral high ground is.

Otherwise, we make judgement &on issues for which we have no historical, cultural, socio-economic or geo-political background. We just make a silly noise to look good.

We are a small nation which foreign policy since Independence has been “friends to all and enemies to none”.

That policy has stood us well.
It is true that as a nation we have chosen democracy over other forms of government. We abhor violence and cherish our human rights and freedoms and it is our avowed stand that the world be free of tyranny, uncalled for aggression against other nations, multinational crime, trafficking of drug, arms and human trafficking, and terrorism.

But these principles we must apply at home first and then across the entire globe where ever we find injustice, aggression and crime. We cannot be selective.

To leave the long running fight for self determination by our own Melanesian brothers and go cross oceans and continents to condemn another aggressor nation speak hypocrisy of the highest order.

Those countries with whom we vote against Russia have been and continue to be aggressors in many different parts of the world under various guises.
Those too we must determine 
and take correct positions on.

Finally, the Prime Minister cannot possibly be well advised on international issues beyond the media reports because he has starved all our foreign missions of funding.

Our foreign missions which are our eyes and ears to the world have not paid staff or their rent and children are being forced out of schools for non payment of fees.

This Government is not competent to makes decisions on global events because it cannot even keep its missions open.
Stay home, Mr Prime Minister. Fix the mess you have created at home domestically and fix your own backyard in the region first.


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