Keynote Address at the Conference on the Self-Determination and Liberation of West Papua: Page 4 of 5

Posted on 19 April 2017

struggle against neo-colonialism, the promotion of reactionary puppet regimes and their defense in the name of the so-called ‘rule of law’ , the demonization of and attack on liberation movements as terrorists, the attack on states asserting their independence against imperialism as ‘rogue’.

The imperialist project that we now call ‘neoliberal globalization’ coupled with militarism and war was meant to re-conquer countries in a new wave of denationalization and neocolonialism to stave off intensifying global crisis.  Instead globalization failed to address the crisis of overproduction and gave way to financialization of the global economy that intensified the deterioration and crisis of monopoly capital and leads to its depressionary spiral.

This intense global crisis is also reflected in increasing neo-fascist political forces, in inter-imperialist conflicts and in wars of aggression against movements and states fighting imperialism, but including against terrorists what were abetted by US imperialism like the Al Qaeda and the Daesh. This period of conflict and instability created by the economic crisis and the multipolar divisions between the West and emerging imperialist powers opens the way for opportunities to advance liberation struggles, including political and diplomatic processes favorable for liberation movements to win concessions and even become victorious.

Process for Asserting the Right to Self-Determination

In the most general terms, the right to self-determination means the right of every historically constituted people to determine their destiny and development based on their own wishes, free from forcible interference by other peoples. [3]  It is the sovereign right of people to freely choose and develop their own socio- economic, political, and cultural systems.

In a specifically political sense, the right to self- determination is the right of a people to constitute itself as an independent state or as a separate political entity if it so decides, enjoying the same rights as all other nation-states, or otherwise, to freely determine its mode of association with an existing state wherein it enjoys the same rights as the other constituent peoples of that state.  In this sense, the right to self-determination covers a wide range of options that a people can choose from.

The first option is secession, or the breaking away of people from a state to form an independent state of their own– as a collective assertion of full nationhood.

The second option is federation, or the act by which two or more previously independent states form a common, federal government while continuing to exercise many of their prerogatives as constituent states.

The third option is regional autonomy – a political arrangement within a democratic republic, under which specific territories of indigenous or minority peoples can exercise self-rule to a higher degree than is exercised by other regular territories of the nation.

The struggles of the West Papuan people can cover the whole range of options and possibilities for struggles to achieve independence – from militant struggle of the masses of West Papuan including the rest of the masses in their territory up to diplomatic initiatives to renew the process of referendum and gain international recognition of their struggle for independence.  It

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