The Rome Joint Statement – 20th/21st May 1969

The Rome Joint Statement

Text of the Joint Statement Following the Discussions Held Between the Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Luns and the Netherlands Minister for Development Cooperation Mr. Udink with the Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Malik in 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 the
economic 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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