The West New Guinea dispute (1950–1962), also known as the West Irian dispute, was a diplomatic and political conflict between the Netherlands and Indonesia over the territory of Netherlands New Guinea.
While the Netherlands had ceded sovereignty to Indonesia on 27 December 1949 following an independence struggle, the Indonesian government had always claimed the Dutch-controlled half of New Guinea on the basis that it had belonged to the Dutch East Indies and that the new Republic of Indonesia was the legitimate successor to the former Dutch colony.
During the first phase of the West Irian dispute (1950–1954), Indonesia pursued bilateral negotiations with the Netherlands. During the second phase (1954–1958), Indonesia attempted to raise support for its territorial claims in the United Nations General Assembly.
During the third phase (1960–1962), Indonesia pursued a policy of confrontation against the Netherlands which combined diplomatic, political, and economic pressure with limited military force.
The final stage of the confrontation with Indonesia also involved a planned military invasion of the territory. The Indonesians also secured military weapons and political and military support from the Soviet Union, which induced the United States to intervene in the conflict as a third-party mediator between Indonesia and the Netherlands.
ollowing the New York Agreement on 15 August 1962, the Netherlands, under American pressure, handed West New Guinea over to a United Nations Temporary Executive Authority, which subsequently handed the territory over to Indonesia on 1 May 1963.
Following a controversial plebiscite in 1969, West New Guinea was formally integrated into Indonesia.
1962-08-15 New York Agreement (with annex) West New Guinea (West Irian) at UNY
1969-11-20 UN GA 24st resol 2504-Agrmt IDN and NLD on West New Guinea (West Irian)_NR025638
1969-11-06 UN GA 24st A_7723 Report of SG on Act of Self Determination in West Irian_N6924364
1969-11-06 UN GA 24st A_7723 corr-Report of SG on Act of Self Determination in West Irian_N6924364.pdf
1962-09-21 UN GA 17th resol 1752-Agrmt IDN and NLD on West New Guinea (West Irian)_NR019260
1962-08-20 UN GA 17th note by SG A_5170- request new agenda item-agrmt IDN and NDL on West New Guinea (West Irian)_NL621006
1962-08-20 UN GA 17th note by SG corr A_5171-request new agenda item-agrmt IDN and NDL on West New Guinea (West Irian)_NL621007