31 Mar 2006

Forum says French Polynesia to make case for decolonisation support

10:17 am on 31 March 2006

The secretary-general of the Pacific Island Forum, Greg Urwin, says any possible Forum support for French Polynesia's decolonisation bid depends on the government in Tahiti making its case to member states.

French Polynesia may be admitted as a Forum associate member after the French President Jacques Chirac asked Pacific leaders in 2003 to integrate the French Pacific territories as full Forum members.

The French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, says integrating among Forum countries, the territory should go further and join as an independent state.

While the Forum has supported New Caledonia's decolonisation move, Mr Urwin says any support for French Polynesia depends on its lobbying effort.

"It's for French Polynesia to make its case with the member states of the Forum who would then take a view about how that would be expressed through the Forum itself."

Greg Urwin