New York Agreement to Reach out the Settlement of International Dispute over West Papua

Indonesia’s independence declaration on August 17th, 1945 was for that matter, not a finished product when it comes to relishing the freedom. The Japanese’s defeat in the World War II did not necessarily make the country’s triumphant purposeful. The fight for gaining the international recognition was truly draining. Instead of getting gratification after the agreement of Linggarjati, Indonesia had to be large-hearted on approving the treaty. It stated that Indonesia’s territory only encompassed Java, Sumatra, and Madura. The reason why West Papua was not included is clear evidence that the Dutch kept clinging to its ambition to have a grip on Indonesia’s territory.

The Dutch’s desire to regain the political power in the archipelago escalated specifically when the military aggression murdering multiplied Indonesians from 1947 to 1949 took place. To finish the internal turmoil and uncertain political situation, the Dutch-Indonesian round table conference was finally held in The Hague in 1949.  Unfortunately, the dream to have West Papua as the part of Indonesian authority during the transfer of sovereignty fell through. The status of the western piece of New Guinea remained disputable letting the status of the black pearl be vague.

The Netherlands insisted that West Papua was excluded due to the racial matter – the colonial claimed that indigenous inhabitants had no relation with the rest of nation which is mostly Austronesian. In addition to the ethnicity reason, Western New Guinea had a right to the ultimate self-determination. The resulting consent of the conference with regard to the region’s status was arguably unclear even though the Party of Dutch Labor defied the decision of not including West Papua. The struggle to bring in the Melanesian paradise kept continuing from international negotiations to New York agreement.

The follow-up crucially run to settle the issue of the authority of Western New Guinea territory was by the New York agreement. The trans-border negotiation signed by Indonesia and the Netherlands came with two proposals. The first one was to designate the United Nations on assuming the territory administration while the second point was allowing Indonesia to occupy and govern West Papua in accordance with the United Nation’s tact officially stamped in the agreement’s article 12. The determining negotiation hosted by the United States of America was eventually signed on the 15th of August, 1962 at the UN Headquarters situated in New York City.

In comparison to the previous tough negotiation in the round table conference which was disadvantageous to Indonesia, the fructifying outcome of New York agreement has a great impact toward the future of West Papua. As specified by the State Department of America, the negotiation was in reality, the glory for Indonesia making the Dutch party get defeated.  On the contrary, the Bureau of European Affairs surprisingly expressed another point of view. It inferred that Indonesia’s winning which West Papua was finally annexed to the archipelago’s administration was new colonialism carried out by the Brown people.

How the negotiation was made actually began when the President John F. Kennedy was inaugurated in 1961. The American Ambassador for Indonesia initially aimed to propose the seven-point plan. The major reason why doing this is to stave the communist control off and predispose the country to support west. In order for the scheme to be thriving and convincing, the party supported by White House National Security Council made a promise to unite Indonesia and western part of New Guinea. The help of these sides truly was a solution point. However, this intention was totally opposed by the European Affairs Bureau as well as the Central Intelligence Agency.

The American diplomat named Ellsworth Bunker eventually let his proposal concerning the sovereignty transfer over West Papua to Indonesia delivered to the Netherlands. Yet in another side, the Dutch thought that the outline of the plan supposedly carried by the administration of United Nations was the form of outrageous betrayal undertaken by the United States. Apart from it, the negotiation also included a right to self-determination known as Pepera (Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat). The act of free choice was set up with these following conditions:

To assess the local people’s will, there is nothing to do unless taking Musyawarah (consultative councils) followed by the procedural instruction.


The definite date of the act should be finished prior to 1969


The act is comprised of a query making sure that the population is whether to stay with Indonesia or split from it.

The act of free choice allows all adults to engage in it.

The dream for Indonesia to free West Papua from the Dutch colonial and include the territory to the part of Indonesian sovereignty was ultimately fulfilled after the New York agreement. The implementation of this negotiation completed the previous objective of Soekarno referring to the Indonesian Republic from Sangab to Merauke.