New York Agreement According to Indonesia

The New York Agreement 15 August 1962 According to Indonesia’s Arguments

There are two versions of opinions regarding the Legal Documents on which the Act of Free Choice 1969 was based: The New York Agreement between The Kingdom of the Netherlands and Indonesia, 15 August 2962

New York Agreement according to Indonesia

Agreement Between the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands Concerning West New Guinea (West Irian)

(Signed at the Headquarters of the United Nations, New York, on 15 August 1962)

The Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands,

Having in mind the interests and welfare of the people of the territory of West New Guinea (West Irian) herinafter referred to as “the territory”,

Desirous of settling their dispute regarding the territory,

Now, therefore, agree as follows:

RATIFICATION OF AGREEMENT AND RESOLUTION OF

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Article I

After the present Agreement between Indonesia and the Netherlands has been signed and ratified by both Contracting Parties, Indonesia and the Netherlands will jointly sponsor a draft resolution in the United Nations under the terms of which the General Assembly of the United Nations takes note of the present Agreement, acknowledges the role conferred upon the Secretary-General of the United Nations therein, and authorizes him to carry out the tasks entrusted to him therein.

TRANSFER OF ADMINISTRATION

Article II

After the adoption of the resolution referred to in article I, the Netherlands will transfer administration of the territory to a United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) established by and under the jurisdiction of the Secretary-General upon the arrival of the United Nations Administrator appointed in accordance with article IV. The UNTEA will in turn transfer the administration to Indonesia in accordance with article XII.

UNITED NATIONS ADMINISTRATION

Article III

In order to facilitate the transfer of administration to the UNTEA after the adoption of the resolution by the General Assembly, the Netherlands will invite the Secretary-General to send a representative to consult briefly with the Netherlands Governor of the territory prior to the latter’ s departure. The Netherlands Governor will depart prior to the arrival of the United Nations Administrator.

Article IV

A United Nations Administrator, acceptable to Indonesia and the Netherlands, will be appointed by the Secretary-General.

Article V

The United Nation Administrator, as chief executive officer of the UNTEA, will have full authority under the direction of the Secretary-General to administer the territory for the period of the UNTEA administration in accordance with the terms of the present Agreement.

Article VI

  1. The United Nations flag will be flown during the period of the United Nations administration.
  2. With regard to the flying of the Indonesian and Netherlands flags, it is agreed that this matter will be determined by agreement between the Secretary-General and the respective Governments.

Article VII

The Secretary-General will provide the UNTEA with such security forces as the United Nations Administrator deems necessary; such forces will primarily supplement existing Papuan (West Irianese) police in the task of maintaining law and order. The Papuan Volunteer Corps, which on the arrival of the United Nations Administrator will cease being part of the Netherlands armed forces, and the Indonesian armed forces in the territory will be under the authority of, and at the disposal of, the Secretary-General for the same purpose. The United Nations Administrator will, to the extent feasible, use the Papuan (West Irianese) police as a United Nations security force to maintain law and order and, at his discretion, use Indonesian armed forces. The Netherlands armed forces will be repatriated as rapidly as possible and while still in the territory will be under the authority of the UNTEA.

Article VIII

The United Nations Administrator will send periodic reports to the Secretary-General on the principal aspects of the implementation of the present Agreement. The Secretary-General will submit full reports to Indonesia and the Netherlands and may submit, at his discretion, reports to the General Assembly or to all United Nations Members.

FIRST PHASE OF THE UNTEA ADMINISTRATION

Article IX

The United Nations Admlnistrator will replace as rapidly as possible top Netherlands officials as defined in annex A with non-Netherlands, non-Indonesian officials during the first phase of the UNTEA administration which will be completed on 1 May 1963. The United Nations Administrator will be authorized to employ on a temporary basis all Netherlands officials other than top Netherlands officials defined in annex A, who wish to serve the UNTEA, in accordance with such terms and conditions as the Secretary-General may specify. As many Papuans (West Irianese) as possible will be brought into administrative and technical positions. To fill the remaining required posts, the UNTEA will have authority to employ personnel provided by Indonesia. Salary rates prevailing in the territory will be maintained.

Article X

Immediately after the transfer of administration to the UNTEA, the UNTEA will widely publicize and explain the terms of the present Agreement, and will inform the population concerning the transfer of administration to Indonesia and the provisions for the act of self-determination as set out in the present Agreement.

Article XI

To the extent that they are consistent with the letter and spirit of the present Agreement, existing laws and regulations will remain in effect. The UNTEA will have power to promulgate new laws and regulations or amend them within the spirit and framework of the present Agreement. The representative councils will be consulted prior to the issuance of new laws and regulations or the amendment of existing laws.

SECOND PHASE

Article XII

The United Nations Administrator will have discretion to transfer all or part of the administration to Indonesia at any time after the first phase of the UNTEA administration. The UNTEA’s authority will lease at the moment of transfer of full administrative control to Indonesia.

Article XIII

United Nations security forces will be replaced by Indonesian security forces after the first phase of the UNTEA administration. All United Nations security forces will be withdrawn upon the transfer of administration to Indonesia.

INDONESIAN ADMINISTRATION AND SELF-DETERMINATION

Article XIV

After the transfer of full administrative responsibility to Indonesia, Indonesian national laws and regulations will in principle be applicable in the territory, it being understood that they be consistent with the rights and freedoms guaranteed to the inhabitants under the terns of the present Agreement. New laws and regulations or amendments to the existing ones can be enacted within the spirit of the present Agreement. The representative councils will be consulted as appropriate.

Article XV

After the transfer of full administrative responsibility to Indonesia, the primary task of Indonesia will be further intensification of the education of the people, of the combating of illiteracy, and of the advancement of their social, cultural and economic development. Efforts also will be made, in accordance with present Indonesian practice, to accelerate the participation of the people in local government through periodic elections. Any aspects relating to the act of free choice will be governed by the terms of this Agreement.

Article XVI

At the time of the transfer of full administrative responsibility to Indonesia a number of United Nations experts, as deemed adequate by the Secretary-General after consultation with Indonesia, will be designated to remain wherever their duties require their presence. Their duties will, prior to the arrival of the United Nations Representative, who will participate at the appropriate time in the arrangements for self-determination, be limited to advising on, and assisting in, preparations for carrying out the provisions for self-determination except in so far as Indonesia and the Secretary-General may agree upon their performing other expert functions. They will be responsible to the Secretary-General for the carrying out of their duties.

Article XVII

Indonesia will invite the Secretary-General to appoint a Representative who, together with a staff made up, inter alia, of experts referred to in article XVI, will carry out the Secretary-General’s responsibilities to advise, assist and participate in arrangements which are the responsibility of Indonesia for the act of free choice. The Secretary-General will, at the proper time, appoint the United Nations Representative in order that he and his staff may assume their duties in the territory one year prior to the date of self-determination. Such additional staff as the United Nations Representative might feel necessary will be determined by the Secretary-General after consultations with Indonesia. The United Nations Representative and his staff will have the same freedom of movement as provided for the personnel referred to in article XVI.

Article XVIII

Indonesia will make arrangements, with the assistance and participation of the United Nation Representative and his staff, to give the people of the territory the opportunity to exercise freedom of choice. Such arrangements will include:

(a) Consultations (Musyawarah) with the representative councils on procedures l and appropriate methods to be followed for ascertaining the freely expressed will of the population;

(b) The determination of the actual date of the exercise of free choice within the period established by the present Agreement;

(c) Formulation of the questions in such a way as to permit the inhabitants to decide (a) whether they wish to remain with Indonesia; or (b) whether they wish to sever their ties with Indonesia;

(d) The eligibility of all adults, male and female, not foreign nationals, to participate in the act of self-determination to be carried out in accordance with international practice, who are resident at the time of the signing of the present Agreement and at the time of the act of self-determination, including those residents who departed after 1945 and who return to the territory to resume residence after the termination of Netherlands administration.

Article XIX

The United Nations Representative will report to the Secretary-General on the arrangements arrived at for freedom of choice.

Article XX

The act of self-determination will be completed before the end of 1969.

Article XXI

  1. After the exercise of the right of self-determination, Indonesia and the United Nations Representative will submit final reports to the Secretary-General who will report to the General Assembly on the conduct of the act of self-determination and the results thereof.
  2. The Parties to the present Agreement will recognize and abide, by the results of the act of self-determination.

RIGHTS OF THE INHABITANTS

Article XXII

  1. The UNTEA and Indonesia will guarantee fully the rights, including the rights of free speech, freedom of movement and of assembly, of the inhabitants of the area. These rights will include the existing rights of the inhabitants of the territory at the nine of the transfer of administration to the UNTEA.
  2. The UNTEA will take over existing Netherlands commitments in respect of concessions and property rights.
  3. After lndonesia has taken over the administration it will honour those commitments which are not inconsistent with the interests and economic development of the people of the territory A joint Indonesian-Netherlands commission will be set up after the transfer of administration to Indonesia to study the nature of the above-mentioned concessions and property rights.
  4. During the period of the UNTEA administration there will be freedom of movement for civilians of Indonesian and Netherlands nationalities to and from the territory.

Article XXIII

Vacancies in the representative councils caused by the departure of Netherlands nationals, or for other reasons, will be filled as appropriate consistent with existing legislation by elections, or by appointment by the UNTEA. The representative councils will be consulted prior to the appointment of new representatives.

FINANCIAL MATTERS

Article XXIV

  1. Deficits in the budget of the territory during the UNTEA administration will be shared equally by Indonesia and the Netherlands.
  2. Indonesia and the Netherlands will be consulted by the Secretary-General in the preparation of the UNTEA budget and other financial matters relating to United Nations responsibilities under the present Agreement; however, the Secretary- General will have the final decision.
  3. The Parties to the present Agreement will reimburse the Secretary-General for all costs incurred by the United Nations under the present Agreement and will make available suitable funds in advance for the discharge of the Secretary-General’s responsibilities. The Parties to the present Agreement will share on an equal basis the costs of such reimbursements and advances.

PREVIOUS TREATIES AND AGREEMENTS

Article XXV

The present Agreement will take precedence over any previous agreement on the territory. Previous treaties and agreements regarding the territory, may therefore be terminated or adjusted as necessary to conform to the terms of the present Agreement.

PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES

Article XXVI

For the purposes of the present Ageement, Indonesia and the Netherlands will apply to the United Nations property, funds, assets and officials the provisions of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations. In particular, the United Nations Administrator, appointed pursuant to article N, and the United Nations Representative, appointed pursuant to article XVII will enjoy the privileges and immunities specified in section 19 of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.

RATIFICATION

Article XXVII

  1. The present Agreement will be ratified in accordance with the constitutional procedures of the Contracting Parties.
  2. The instruments of ratification will be exchanged as soon as possible at the Headquarters of the United Nations by the accredited representatives of the Contracting Parties.
  3. The Secretary-General will draw up a process-verbal of the exchange of the instruments of ratification and will furnish a certified copy thereof to each Contracting Party.

ENTRY INTO FORCE

Article XXVIII

  1. The present Agreement will enter into force upon the date of the adoption by the General Assembly of the resolution referred to in article I of the present Agreement.
  2. Upon the entry into force of the present Agreement, the Secretary-General of the United Nations will register it in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter.

AUTHENTIC TEXT

Article XXIX

The authentic text of the present Agreement is drawn up in the English language. Translations in the Indonesian and Netherlands languages will be exchanged between the Contracting Parties.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized for that purpose by their respective Governments, have signed the present Agreement.

DONE at the Headquarters of the United Nations, New York, on the fifteenth day of August 1967, in three identical copies, of which one shall be deposited with the Secretary-General and one shall be furnished to the Government of each of the Contracting Parties.

For the Republic For the Kingdom

of Indonesia: of the Netherlands:

(Signed) SUBANDRIO (Signed) J.H. VAN ROUEN

(Signed) C. W.A. SCHURMANN

_______

Note: In accordance with article XXVIII, the Agreement came into force on 21 September 1962, the date of the adoption by the General Assembly of the resolution envisaged in article 1 of the Agreement (A/RES/1752 (XVII)). The Instruments of ratifications were exchanged on 20 September 1962 at the Headquarters of the United Nations, in accordance with article XXVII.

(Source: Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia)

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The Rome Joint Statement

Text of the Joint Statement Following the DiscussionsHeld Between the Netherlands Minister ofForeign Affairs Mr. Luns and the Netherlands Minister forDevelopment Cooperation Mr. Udink withthe Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Malikin Rome on 20th and 21st May, 1969

  1. The Netherlands Ministers for Foreign Affairs and for Development Assistance Mr. J.M.A.H. Luns and Mr. B.J. Udink and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia Mr. Adam Malik met on May 20 and 21, 1969, at Rome, Italy. The Ministers held thorough discussions on matters of bilateral interest with special emphasis on the implementation of the provisions of the New York Agreement of 1962 with regard to the Act of Free Choice in West Irian. Extensive discussions took place about the economic and social development in West Irian.
  2. With regard to the Act of Free Choice the Indonesian Minister reaffirmed his Government’s intention fully to implement the provisions of the New York Agreement of 1962. He informed the Netherlands Ministers in detail of arrangements already made by the Indonesian Government with regard to the Act of Free Choice in West Irian after extensive consultations and in full agreement with the Local representative bodies in West Irian, with the advice, the assistance and participation of the Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ambassador Ortiz Sanz and his staff.
  3. The Indonesian Minister reiterated his Government’s position that for practical and technical reasons for the Act of Free Choice the Indonesian system of mutual consultation (Musyawarah) offered the best procedure, this implies that the members of the regional bodies participating in the consultation will be representatives of the various political, traditional and functional groups of the respective districts in such numbers that for every 750 inhabitants of the territory one representative will be seated.
  4. The Indonesian Minister explained in extent the present situation in West Irian. He pointed out that the territory remains open to observers and foreign correspondents to the limit of the facilities available.
  5. The Netherlands Ministers took careful note of the Indonesian position on these points and of the arguments on which the Indonesian Government based its choice of the “Musyawarah” system. Furthermore Mr. Luns and Mr. Udink noted with great interest the Indonesian Foreign Minister’s statement concerning his Government’s particular attention to the special requirements of West Irian.
  6. Apart from the question of the Act of Free Choice the Minister discussed economic cooperation. With regard to West Irian they decided:
    • The Indonesian Government on its part will continue to do everything in its power to speed up the implementation of the administrative agreements with the United Nations for the FUNDWI projects. The Netherlands Government on its part reiterated its willingness to make available the necessary funds for the execution of these projects so as to ensure that they can be carried out as soon as possible. The projects concerning air, coastal and river transport in West Irian should in the opinion of both Governments be given special priority.
    • Both Governments will submit as soon as possible an application to the Asian Development Bank for a project of technical assistance for West Irian, concerning the establishment of an inventory of theeconomic potential of the territory.
    • Both Governments will jointly study the possibility of taking an initiative within the framework of the Asian Development Bank for the creation of a special fund for the economic and social development of West Irian.
  1. Realizing that the Agreement of August 15th, 1962, was signed in the spirit of common concern for the future of West Irian, the two Ministers for Foreign Affairs decided to remain in close touch.
  2. The Ministers profited of the occasion to exchange views on important international problems of common interest to their two countries.
  3. The discussion took place in a frank and friendly atmosphere reflecting the close cooperation and the warm and friendly relations between Indonesia and the Netherlands.

(Source: Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia)

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The History of the Return of Irian Jaya (West Papua) to Indonesia

    • Background

1. West Irian was part of the Dutch colony since 1828. When the Dutch recognized Indonesian sovereignty in 1949, the status of Irian Jaya was yet to be resolved. The Agreement to Transfer the Sovereignty, signed by Indonesia and the Netherlands in the Hague in November 1949, stated inter alia:

    • “the status quo of the Residency of New Guinea shall be maintained with the stipulation that within a year from the date of transfer of sovereignty to the Republic of the United States of Indonesia the question of the political status of New Guinea be determined through negotiations.” 2. Noticing that there were no signs of any solution to the Irian issue, Indonesia submitted the matter to the United Nations in 1954. Indonesia’s position was endorsed by the Asia Africa Conference in April 1955 which passed a resolution supporting Indonesia and then asked the United Nations to assist the two conflicting parties in reaching for a peaceful solution. Nevertheless, up until 1961 there was no indication of any peaceful solution despite the fact that the matter was discussed at the plenary meetings of the United Nations General Assembly and at Committee One. Meanwhile, diplomatic relations between the two countries were severed in 1961. The Government of Indonesia announced a new policy, Tri Komando Rakyat (Trikora), and the confrontation between the two parties was inevitable. In 1962 an armed fight broke between Indonesia and the Dutch in the western coast of Irian.

      3. Considering the negative development, specifically in an international relations which were engulfed in the Cold War era, the United Nations Secretary General U Thant appointed US Ambassador Elsworth Bunker as mediator to find a solution to the Irian issue between Indonesia and the Netherlands. The two countries finally reached an agreement on Irian, as made out in the “Agreement between the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands concerning West New Guinea (West Irian)”, signed on 15 August 1962 by the Foreign Minister Mr. Subandrio as the representative of the Government of Indonesia and Mr. J.H. van Roijen and C. Schurmann as the representatives of the Netherland Government at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This agreement was then known as the New York Agreement.

      4. It was agreed by the two parties that the Agreement had to be ratified before the discussion of the Irian issue at the United Nations General Assembly and that it would enter into force upon adoption by the United Nations General Assembly and terminate when all principles contained therein had been executed. Thus, the New York Agreement entered into force at the 17th United Nations General Assembly in 1962 by the adoption of Resolution No. 1752 regarding the New York Agreement on 21 September 1962.

        • The New York Agreement: the Legal Foundation for Self Determination

      5. The New York Agreement, which was not only agreed by Indonesia and the Netherlands, but also accepted by the international community, was in principle a legal foundation for the implementation of the rights for self determination in West Irian. The implementation of the content and spirit of the New York Agreement was monitored by the international community, thus proving it was not engineered by the parties involved in the dispute, Indonesia and the Netherlands.

      6. The New York Agreement comprising 29 Articles basically contained the stipulations on:

        • The transfer of administration from the Netherlands to the United Nations, in Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11;
        • The transfer of administration from the United Nations to Indonesia, in Articles 12 and 13; and
        • Self determination, in Articles 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21.

      7. The transfer of administration from the Netherlands to the United Nations was implemented after the United Nations Resolution that adopted the New York Agreement was signed. The United Nations temporary administration was carried out by the United Nations Executive Authority (UNTEA), an agency created for the purpose. The Dutch flag was taken down and the United Nations flag flown. The UN Secretary General substituted the Dutch security forces with UN security forces, mostly comprised of West Papuans. The UN Secretary General would send periodic reports to Indonesia, the Netherlands and the UN General Assembly. Under the Agreement, the Netherlands relinquish the governance of Irian to UNTEA effectively on 1 October 1962.

      8. As determined by the New York Agreement, the UNTEA Administration in Irian was divided into two phases, the first started on 1 October 1962 until 1 May 1963. In this phase, Dutch officials were replaced by non-Dutch and non-Indonesian officials. UNTEA was also required to disseminate information to the West Papuans regarding the transfer of administration to Indonesia and the principles of self determination as specified in the New York Agreement. The second phase of the UNTEA Administration was to be implemented by bringing into consideration the local developments and was unbounded by a time limit. When the United Nations found the time as appropriate, UNTEA would carry out the transfer of administrative responsibility to Indonesia. Following the transfer of administrative responsibility to Indonesia, all UNTEA security personnel would be replaced by Indonesian security personnel and Indonesian laws and regulations would be applicable in the territory. This transfer of administration to Indonesia was completed on 1 May 1963.

      9. Subsequent to the transfer of administration to Indonesia, an act of free choice would be carried out. The principles of the act of free choice as determined by the New York Agreement were as follows:

        • The exercise of the act of free choice would be directed by the advice, assistance, and participation of the United Nations.
        • The procedure of the act of free choice would be consulted with the representatives of the people.
        • The provisions for participation in the act of free choice would comply with international practices.
        • The United Nations and Indonesia would present the report on the act of free choice to the UN General Assembly.
        • Indonesia and the Netherlands would acknowledge and be bound by the result of the act of free choice.

      10. It was evident that the New York Agreement, as the legal basis for the act of free choice, did not state that the principle of “one man, one vote” had to be employed on the act of free choice/self determination in Irian (Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat or PEPERA in short). The New York Agreement was composed such as to ensure the transparency of the implementation of the act of free choice, by encompassing the elements of advice, assistance, and participation of the United Nations and UN reports to the international community by way of the UN General Assembly.

        • PEPERA as the Formal Process of Act of Self Determination

      11. In realizing its mandate, the United Nations appointed Ambassador Fernando Ortiz Sanz from Bolivia as the representative of the UN Secretary General to carry out the responsibility of providing advice, assistance, and participation, and to report on the implementation of the act of self determination. Ambassador Ortiz Sanz arrived in Jakarta on 12 August 1968 and proceeded to Irian on 22 August 1968 to establish the UN office in Jayapura. The office was opened on 4 August 1969.

      12. The New York Agreement did not specifically stated the procedure and method of the implementation of the act of free choice. Therefore, the appropriate means that was suitable to the level of social, economic, and cultural development and the geography of West Irian needed to be established. This was due to the fact that the New York Agreement did not require the implementation “one man, one vote” system on the act of self determination. There was no engineering involved and no cause for suspicion, for the reason that according to international law, there was no obligation that an act of self determination had to apply a “one man, one vote” system.

      13. To establish the best way to implement the act of self determination in Irian, Indonesia held a meeting with the United Nations in Jakarta and in New York. Based on the result of the meeting, Indonesia conveyed a note to Ambassador Ortiz Sanz on 18 February 1969 that basically contained a proposal on the method of the implementation of the act of self determination, which was as follows:

        • The act of self determination would be carried out by a representative assembly in every regency utilizing the system of democratic deliberation.
        • The representative assembly would be comprised of three representatives: a regional representative elected by the community, a functional representative representing the political, social, cultural, and religious interests, and a traditional representative consisting of directly elected tribal representatives.
        • The method had to be first consulted with the people of Irian as determined by the New York Agreement.

      14. Responding to the proposal, the UN Representative stated that the United Nations was prepared to cooperate and participate on the implementation of the act of free choice. The United Nations also actively participated in the process of consultation between the Indonesian Government and the people of West Irian on the method of implementation of the act of free choice. The method of consultation was finally decided as the most appropriate for the implementation of the act of free choice. The Djakarta Times on 26 February 1969 in the article “UN and the Netherlands Approve Indonesian Policy on Act of Free Choice” wrote that “the United Nations and the Dutch Government have approved the policy of the Indonesian Government on the act of free choice in West Irian by way of consultations and not by one man, one vote system.” Meanwhile, The Indonesian Observer on 24 February 1969 in the news article “West Irian Legislators Endorse Voting Method” reported that “the Regional Legislature of Merauke regency (kabupaten) has issued a statement emphasizing that if the act of free choice should be conducted at all it should be through the regional legislatures by means of representative voting.”

      15. Based on the above, the act of free choice in Irian was conducted utilizing the representative and deliberation system. During the process of the act of free choice from 14 July to 2 August 1969, the Representative of the UN Secretary General actively participated in the process according to his mandate and responsibilities as outlined in the New York Agreement. In his report to the General Assembly, the Representative of the UN Secretary General Envoy stated inter alia:

        • “The Petitions opposing annexation to Indonesia … show that without doubt certain elements of the population of West Irian held firm convictions in favour of independence. Nevertheless, the answer given by the consultative assemblies to the questions put to them was an unanimous consensus in favour of remaining with Indonesia.”
        • “Finally, on the basis of the facts presented in this report and the documents referred to, it can be stated that with the limitations imposed by geographical characteristics of the territory and the general political situation in the area, the act of free choice has taken place in West Irian in accordance with Indonesian practice, in which the representatives of the population have expressed their wish to remain with Indonesia.” 17. After analyzing Indonesia’s and the United Nations’ reports and other documentation, the 24th UN General Assembly on 19 November 1969 adopted Resolution 2504 (XXIV) that legalized the act of self determination in Irian Jaya as determined by the New York Agreement:
            • “Bearing in mind that, in accordance with article XXI, paragraph 2, both parties to the Agreement have recognized these results and abide by them,”
            • “Takes note of the report of the Secretary General and acknowledges with appreciation the fulfilment by the Secretary General and his Representative of the tasks entrusted to them under the Agreement of 15 August 1962 between the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands concerning West New Guinea (West Irian)”. 18. Upon the adoption of UN General Assembly Resolution 2504 (XXIV), the act of free choice by way of deliberation, not “one man, one vote”, was accepted by the international community. From that point on, the international community recognized, de jure and de facto, that the region of Irian Jaya was an integral part of the Unitary State of Indonesia. This international recognition could not be annulled or revoked, for not one country in the world could challenge the legitimacy of the territory of Irian Jaya as part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. The principle of integrity and sovereignty of any state is one of the main principles embodied in the United Nations Charter. Consequently, any separatist movement would be rejected by the international community, as it violated the principles and objectives of the United Nations.
                • The Rome Joint Statement

              19. In accordance with the New York Agreement, apart from consulting the United Nations on the implementation of the Act of Self Determination, Indonesia also kept the Netherlands informed of any developments. In the framework of bilateral meeting between Indonesia and the Netherlands, held in Rome on 20-21 May 1969, both parties agreed to issue a Joint Statement on the subjects touched and agreements reached at the meeting. Indonesia was represented by Foreign Minister Adam Malik at the meeting, whilst the Netherlands was represented by Foreign Minister Luns and Developmental Cooperation Minister Udink.

              19. The Rome Joint Statement stated inter alia:

                  • Conclusions
                • The Indonesian Foreign Minister reiterated the Indonesian Government’s intention to fully implement the conditions set out in 1962 New York Agreement. The Foreign Minister advised the Dutch Ministers in detail about the measures taken by the Indonesian Government regarding the act of free choice in West Irian after the comprehensive consultation with and the approval of the regional representative institutions in West Irian, and with the advice, assistance, and cooperation of the Representative of the UN Secretary General Ambassador Ortiz Sanz and his assistants.
                • The Indonesian Foreign Minister reiterated the position of the Indonesian Government that due to technical and practical problems, the implementation of the act of free choice with the Indonesian system of deliberation was the best procedure. The Foreign Minister explained that West Irian would be accessible to analysts and foreign correspondence.
                • On economic cooperation, it was agreed that the Netherlands would provide the funds for the UN FUNDWI Projects. Projects on air, coast and river transportation should be made a priority. Both countries would forthwith convey a technical assistance project proposal to the Asian Development Bank in the form of a list of the territory’s economic potentials.

              20. The implementation of the act of self determination was carried out democratically and in a transparent manner by involving the people of Irian Jaya by way of consultation on the method of the act of free choice. The whole process of the act of free choice involved the participation, assistance, and advice of the United Nations and in turn was acknowledged by the international community (the United Nations General Assembly).

              21. It was clear that the PEPERA as the implementation of the act of free choice was not legally flawed. A unilateral interpretation and misinterpretation of the New York Agreement and attempts to twist perceptions that the New York Agreement had to exercise ‘one man, one vote’ system was certainly not justified and not true to the fact.

              (Source: Directorate of International Organizations, Department for Foreign Affairs)

              Related Documents:

              • Agreement between the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands concerning West Papua New Guinea (West Irian)
              • The Rome Joint Statement

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              Views & Perspectives

              Facts on Indonesia’s Sovereignty over Irian Jaya

              Questions and Answers

              1. What was the nature of the Irian Jaya issues ? Was this issue a case of decolonization or incomplete decolonization of Indonesia ?

              Irian Jaya was a bilateral matter between the Netherlands and Indonesia regarding an incomplete process of decolonization of the Netherlands East Indies. Irian Jaya was neither a separate entity nor a non-self-governing territory detached from the Netherlands East Indies. The problem arose when the Netherlands insisted on maintaining its presence in the western half New Guinea. At the beginning, there was no international dimension to this problem until Indonesia brought the issue to the United Nations in 1954 after all bilateral means had been exhausted. Therefore, it would not be relevant to draw a comparison between East Timor and Iran Jaya as the crux of the problem is totally different. East Timor was recognized by the United Nations as a non-self-governing territory, with Portugal as the administering power, while Irian Jaya remained an resolved question of decolonization of Indonesian territory of what was once the Netherlands East Indies. It was the disruption of the Dutch decolonization process in 1949 that led to struggle of more than a decade by Indonesia to consolidate its territorial integrity and sovereignty over Irian Jaya.

              2. Did the Dutch renege on its earlier agreements with Indonesia ?

              The Dutch reneged on a series of commitments made prior to the Round Table Conference of 1949 in Den Haag. For before that time, there was never any doubt in the negotiations between the Dutch and the Indonesians on the status of Irian Jaya. This is reflected in several agreements concluded between Indonesia and Netherlands : The Linggardjati Agreement of 1947 explicitly stated ” The United States of Indonesia shall comprise the entire territory of the Netherlands East Indies”. The Renville Agreement of 1948 further underlined ” Sovereignty throughout the Netherlands Indies is and shall remain with the Kingdom of Netherlands until, after a stated interval, the Kingdom of the Netherlands transfers its sovereignty to the United States of Indonesia”, and the Roem-Van Royen Agreement of 1949 which in sum stated that the “United States of Indonesia shall comprise of the entire territory of the Netherlands East Indies in accordance with the terms of the Revile Agreement”. Two other documents prove in an unmistakable way that it had never been the intention of the Dutch to separate West Papua from the rest of the East Indies colony. These were the Netherlands Constitution of 1948 and the Netherlands Report on its colony to the United Nations in 1949. Later, the Round Table Conference of 1949 settled the conflict between the two countries, resulting in the full recognition and acceptance by the Netherlands of the independence and sovereignty of Indonesia. It did not however settle the conflict in a comprehensive manner as it left out the territory of West New Guinea. In Indonesia’s view, this constituted a case of incomplete decolonization. For, it left out the unsettled question of West New Guinea was to be resolved within a period of one year after the transfer of sovereignty to Indonesia through peaceful negotiations between the Government of Indonesia and the Netherlands.

              3. On what basis did Indonesia claim sovereignty over Iran Jaya ?

              As far as Indonesia was concerned it was the legal successor to all territories, which during colonial times were called the Netherlands East Indies, in accordance with the provisions of agreements concluded between the two countries as well as by established international legal principles. Thus, it viewed Irian Jaya as an integral part of the Republic of Indonesia at the time of the proclamation of independence on August 17, 1945. In this regard, it should be emphasized that the international principle of “uti posseditis juns” asserts that the boundaries of nascent post-colonial countries conform to their pre-sovereign ones. For whatever reasons, in principle and logic, the issue of tittle ends there.

              4. Why did Iran Jaya become an issue at the United Nations ?

              The bilateral question became an issue at the United Nations because Indonesia brought up the matter before the UN General Assembly at its ninth session in 1954 as no progress had been made to resolve this matter in the bilateral talks and therefore there was a need to solicit international support. Such support was further obtained at the Bandung conference of 1955 and was incorporated into the final communique requesting to the United Nations to help the two sides reach a peaceful solution. The United Nations General Assembly discussed this items from the years 1954 to 1957 and then again in 1961 but a peaceful solution provide elusive.

              5. What were the background developments to the New York Agreement in 1962 ?

              For eight long years, the General Assembly had been unable to assist the parties in finding a solution. In light of the breakdown of relations between the two countries, Indonesia therefore availed of the initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General to join the Netherlands in informal discussions. Both the Indonesian and Netherlands Governments agreed to the intermediary of the Secretary-General U Thant and Ambassador Eilsworth Bunker of the United States of America. Largely due to their tireless efforts and coupled with the desire of both Governments, a bilateral settlement was reached between Indonesia and the Netherlands, with the conclusion of the New York Agreement.

              6. What was the role of the UN with regard to the question of West Papua ? Who were the parties to that Agreement ?

              The role of the United Nations was limited to an intermediary one. In this regard, it should be noted that Article XVII of the New York Agreement stated “Indonesia will invite the Secertary-General to appoint a Representative who, together with a staff made up, inter alia, of experts refered to in Article XVI, will carry out the Secretary-General’s responsibilities to advise, assist and participate in arrangements which are the responsibility of Indonesia”. It is also pertinent to note that financial expenses incurred by the Secretary-General were borne by the Indonesian and the Netherlands Governments in equal shares. Nothing was to be paid for by the United Nations. From the outset, the UN’s involvement was aimed at finding a solution to bilateral matter through dialogue and peaceful means.

              7. What are the salient features of the New York Agreement ?

              The central feature of the agreement was the provision for an initial transfer of administration of this territory from the Netherlands to an interim UN authority (United Nations Temporary Executive Authority/UNTEA) effective 1 October 1962 and then for a final transfer from UNTEA to Indonesian control after 1 May 1963.

              In addition, it was stipulated that an act of free choice would take place before the end of 1969 in order to determine whether or not the West Papuans peoples wished to remain subject to Indonesian jurisdiction, the arrangements of which were to rest solely with the Indonesian Government. It is important to stress that the Agreement was clearly a bilateral one and not called for by resolution of the United Nations or by any other mandate of the General Assembly.

              8. Were the transfers of authority in Irian Jaya from the Dutch to the UN and later from the UN to Indonesia in line with the terms of the Agreement ?

              The transfers of administration from the Netherlands to the UNTEA (United Nations ) took place on 1 October 1962, in accordance with Article V and VI of the New York Agreement, in a ceremony when the UN flag was raised and flown side by side with that of the Netherlands. Later, on 31 December 1962, the Netherlands flag was replaced by the Indonesian flag and flown next to the UN flag. In line with the provisions of Article XII of the New York Agreement, the Administrator of UNTEA, transferred full administrative control to Indonesia on 1 May 1963. The transfer of administration from the Netherlands to UNTEA and thereafter to Indonesia was achieved peacefully and without incident. The population was prepared for the changes to be brought about by the Agreement. The disruption of essential public services was avoided and continuity in employment was maintained.

              9. What were the grounds to pronounce that the act of free choice in 1969 was internationally acceptable and valid?

              The act of free choice was final, legal and irrevocable as Article XVII of the Agreement was implemented whereby the representative councils of Irian Jaya were consulted on the appropriate procedures and methods to ascertain the will of the people. Indonesia’s proposal was accepted and the enlarged councils, which included a total of 1,026 members, pronounced themselves, unanimously on behalf of the people of Irian Jaya to remain with Indonesia. Considering the specific difficulties of the terrain and the condition of the population at that time, the modalities of consultations with the representatives councils on procedures on methods were the best option to ascertain the free will of the people. This position was also reflected in the Secretary Generals report to the General Assembly in 1969 in which his quoted his Representatives conclusions of the implementation of the act of free choice by stating that “…it can be stated that, with the limitation impose by the geographical characteristics of the territory and the general political situation in the area, an act of a free choice in West Irian…”. It is also noteworthy to point out was that this episode mark a significant event for the United Nations, considering it’s participation in such an activity for the first time.

              In sum, it is an indisputable fact that the people of Irian Jaya exercise their right of self-determination through an act of free choice conducted from 14 July to 2 August 1969 in accordance with the relevant provision of the 1962 New York agreement.

              10. Was the UN successful in mediating the bilateral conflict between Indonesia and the Netherlands? Why did the United Nations General Assembly only take note of the result of the New York Agreement?

              Bearing in mind the limited role of the United Nations in this conflict, in can be concluded that the Organization was successful in acting as a mediator by bringing to an end long-standing bilateral dispute between Indonesia and the Netherlands. Indeed, the United Nations had completed its task finding a lasting and peaceful solution to a question, which could have post a real threat to regional security and stability of South East Asia. In affirming the successful outcome of this act of free choice, UNGA resolution 2504 (XXIV) only took note of the result of the New York Agreement in light of its bilateral nature while acknowledging with appreciation the fulfillment of the Secretary General and his representatives of the tasks entrusted to them under the Agreement of 1962 between the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

              In reflecting the overwhelming support of the international community, the latter solution was adopted with 84 members voting in favor, none against and 30 absence, as the entire process had met the requirements of the New York Agreement. It should be recalled in this context the earlier UNGA 1752 (XVII) had taken note of that instrument went authorizing the Secretary General to carry out the task entrusted to him. The UNGA took note of the Agreement as envisaged in the Article 1 of the Agreement which says that ‘… Indonesia and the Netherlands will jointly sponsor a draft resolution in the United Nations under the term of which the General Assembly of the United Nations takes note of the present Agreement.

              11. Is the claim of the Second Congress of Papua in June 2000 that Irian Jaya has been independent since 1 December 1961 true?

              Such a claim without foundation as the fact of free choice had already been conducted in line with the provisions of the New York Agreement and all parties, including the United Nations, played their respective roles and fulfilled their responsibilities. In this regard it should be reiterated that the UN General Assembly has noted the results of the act of free choice through resolution 2504 (XXIV) and thus consideration on this question cannot be renewed. The Dutch never recognized Irian Jaya as a sovereign entity, a fact which was confirm in the proceedings of the New York Agreement in 1962. Neither did they ask the other party to the bilateral Agreement challenge its outcome. Irian Jaya as an integral part of Indonesia occupies a status equal to the other provinces, its people join political parties, participate in election and send representatives to the Indonesian Parliament.

              12. Considering the historical evolution and contemporary developments, what is the most appropriate solution to the issue?

              The issue of Irian Jaya has to be put in the right perspective that Irian Jaya was an integral part of the Netherlands East Indies during the Dutch colonialism. The Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945 as well during the proclamation of Indonesian independence in 1945 the restoration of Indonesian sovereignty through the transfer of authority from United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) to Indonesia and the conclusion of the act of free choice solidified Indonesia’s territorial sovereignty over Irian Jaya. Therefore, any solution to the issue must be within the framework of the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia. It is important to stress that Indonesia is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural and multi-linguistic nation with “unity in diversity” as its model. It is therefore important to find common ground to bridge differences among its peoples as differences are common in democratic societies through out the world. One such way is to accord greater autonomy to provinces, including Irian Jaya at the regional level so that the people can improve their lives an assured access to the government. Indeed, regional autonomy is destined to emerge as a unifying factor of a diverse, united and democratic Indonesia.

              Problems arising of the province of Irian Jaya has to be dealt with on a national basis and the Government would view any attempt to disrupt Indonesia’s sovereignty over Iran Jaya as interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.

              (Source: Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations in New York, April 2001)[/lang_en]

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