4 Dec 2003

New Caledonia strikes new deal for Wallisians

5:15 pm on 4 December 2003

New Caledonia has signed a so-called special accord to govern relations between France, New Caledonia and the French Pacific territory of Wallis and Futuna.

New Caledonia's President, Pierre Frogier, signed the accord with the French overseas territories minister, Brigitte Girardin, and Wallis and Futuna's elected members, including Senator Robert Laufoa'ulu.

The accord attempts to address the situation of some 20-thousand Wallisians and Futunians permanently residing in New Caledonia by granting them a special status, especially regarding local employment guarantees.

It sets out to implement a sustainable development plan over the next fifteen years to help Wallis and Futuna improve its health and education infrastructure.

The 20- thousand strong Wallisian community in New Caledonia is twice the size of population on their home islands.