Several countries wanted to have influence in Papua and West Papua, as it has a lot of natural resources and potential. The International law that all UN member countries agreed seems unreal to them when it comes about West Papua issue. Based on international law, Papua is clearly part of Indonesia. The struggle was real and PEPERA is the final installment of how Papua and West Papua legally named as one of 34 provinces in Indonesia.
PEPERA conducted in West Irian in 1969 , a referendum to establish the political status of the territory of Papua. Indonesia has two international legal bases on its sovereignty over its territories, the two principles referred to as the utipesidetis juris principle which defines Indonesia’s sovereignty over all its territory (including Papua). Ths principle has been around since the right to self determination was declared. Both plebiscites were held to end the conflict of political statistics of Papua region between Indonesia and the Netherlands. As its also used for other areas on December 27, 1949.
The other factors that make the Indonesian government should be considered to receive plebiscite for the government at that time is the KMB. The 1949 KMB Den Haag agreement on the status of West Iran is equally unfavorable to both Indonesia and the Netherlands. In 1956 the Dutch unilaterally imported West Irian into the grondwet. The addition of the new territory made the Netherlands change its constitution:
Het grondgebied van et Koninkrijik der Nederlanden omval Nederland, Suiame, de Nederlandse Antilen en Nederlands Nieuw Guinea.
[Translation: Kingdom of the Netherlands includes Nederland, Suriname, Antiland, and Nederlands New Guinea.)
The strategy utilized by the Dutch is using the principle of “right to self determination”. RSD is only aimed at two things: first with respect to the trust area. Trust areas are: territories in the mandate territory. Secondly, the territories released from enemy countries as a result of the second world war. Third, the areas that are voluntarily deployed in the voluntary system of trust.
Second: the right of self-determination is aimed at non-self-governing teritories. All the notions of non-self-governing teritories are still unclear because of the article 73 UN Charter. The article states “territories whose peoples have not yet attained full measure of self government …”. The Dutch wanted to take advantage of the provision of non-self governing territores in resolution 1541 by making Papua a non-self governing territories. The resolution explains that non-self governing territories are “geographically distinct and culturally distinct areas of the country that administers their administrations and are in subordinated positions with their parent country”.
In this issue, plebiscite also means as self determination. In Papua, this issue known as PEPERA. PEPERA (Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat) was held on July 14th until August 2nd 1969 based on New York Agreement.
Keywords: PEPERA, plebiscites, The Nederlands, KMB, UN Charter, New York Agreement, Dutch Occupation