24 Apr 2004

Call to stop French Polynesia bid to be forum observer

7:42 am on 24 April 2004

Pacific island government leaders have been urged to bar French Polynesia from joining the Pacific Islands Forum as an observer.

The Pacific Concerns Resource Centre says the moves could be underhand attempts to interfere in regional affairs.

The think-tank says French Polynesia should be banned from joining as an observer because it's not independent, or on a clear path to decolonisation or self-determination.

Peter Emberson of the PCRC says French Polynesia doesn't meet these criteria.

Niue has this week come out in support of French Polynesia, but the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre says Niue is actually being used as a pawn on Australia and New Zealand's chessboard.

This year the French Polynesian president Gaston Flosse told politicians in Paris he endorsed a new autonomy status for the territory within the French republic.