The Annerley Branch has adopted stances on several foreign policy issues. Important amongst these issues are the plight of the people of West Papua and of Palestine. Our resolutions on these two urgent matters are as follows:
ABR1617/23 – Resolution regarding West Papua
The Annerley Branch recognises and strongly supports Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which states that “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”. We believe that such a right should be decided by a free and democratic vote undertaken by secret ballot, respecting the key principles of universal suffrage and the fundamental freedoms of speech and expression.
Importantly, we also assert that the cause of self-determination of any oppressed people is, and ought to be, the cause of all progressive political movements, parties and individuals across the globe – including the Australian Labor Party.
This Branch notes:
(1) That the indigenous peoples of the Indonesian province of West Papua are ethnically and culturally different from the broader population of the Republic of Indonesia;
(2) The struggle for self-determination of the people of West Papua has been violently suppressed by the Indonesian government since the withdrawal of Dutch colonial rule in 1962, culminating in serious ongoing and systemic violations and abuse of human rights including acts of genocide, torture, rape, destruction of property, various forms of oppression and discrimination, with one estimate that up to 500,000 West Papuans have died as a result of military occupation;
(3) The current, widely-held view that the vote conducted by the Indonesian military in 1969 to determine the future of West Papua was deeply flawed and was not conducted in a transparent, open, fair and democratic manner; &
(4) The ongoing efforts of International Parliamentarians for West Papua in highlighting the human rights abuses and supporting a ‘properly conducted referendum on independence’.
The Annerley Branch believes that the people of West Papua should have the right to self-determination in accordance with the ICCPR and that this right should not be curtailed in the interests of so called ‘territorial integrity’.
We, therefore, express our explicit, public and enduring support for the right of West Papuans to determine their own future through a free and democratic vote, supervised and conducted by the United Nations.
Accordingly, this Branch stands in solidarity with the people of West Papua and calls on the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party to:
• Recognise and acknowledge the long term, legitimate struggle of the people of West Papua for their inalienable and collective right to self-determination; and
• Support and advocate by political and diplomatic means any actions which will enable the people of West Papua to freely and democratically determine their own future.
ABR1415/30 – Resolution regarding Palestine
The Annerley Branch notes:-
• Australia has consistently supported a two state solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict;
• Israel is an independent and sovereign state while the Palestinians remain stateless;
• Palestinians, like other human beings, have the right to their own state and their own nationality. Institutions such as the UN, World Bank and IMF have affirmed their readiness for statehood;
• The Israeli government has continually resiled from agreeing to a two State solution;
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected on a platform stating ‘there would be no Palestinian State’, consistent with the Likud Charter;
• Israel has continually sabotaged peace talks sponsored by the United States by announcing the building of more Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land needed for a viable Palestinian State;
• Israeli settlements – which have been found to be illegal under international law by the International Court of Justice, the UN Security Council and General Assembly and the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions – are designed and strategically placed to prevent a Palestinian state from ever being established;
• 22 years of negotiations since the Oslo accords have produced no agreement while Israel has continued to build illegal settlements on Palestinian land and has subjected millions of Palestinians to living in abject conditions and persistently denied basic dignity and human rights under military occupation;
• That if Australia’s long-standing commitment to a two-state solution is genuine and meaningful we should join the majority of the world’s nations in the UN – 135 out of 193 nations – and recognise Palestine as a nation state;
• That a just peace can be achieved in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions and international and humanitarian law.
Therefore, this Branch calls on the Australian Federal Labor Party and the ALP National Conference to support the recognition of a Palestinian state and declare unequivocally that the next Federal Labor government will:-
• recognise Palestine as a sovereign nation state based on 1967 borders;
• condemn the continuation of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land;
• in the pursuit of a just peace, work with the majority of the world’s nations to support an end date to the Israeli occupation of Palestine; and
• work towards a solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees.