18 May 2010

Temaru snubbed at UN Decolonisation seminar

3:03 pm on 18 May 2010

The president of the French Polynesian assembly, Oscar Temaru, has been prevented from attending a United Nations regional seminar on decolonisation in New Caledonia.

Mr Temaru, who has been campaigning for French Polynesia's independence from France for decades, had no invitation to the meeting in Noumea which aims to help inform people about how they can exercise their right to self-determination.

France took French Polynesia off the decolonisation list before it launched its nuclear weapons tests but allowed New Caledonia to be re-inscribed following the unrest of the 1980s.

Mr Temaru says when he wanted to join this morning's talks, the organisers stopped him.

"It's a frustration because this is the mission of the committee on decolonisation and we are here to express on behalf of the Maohi people and of our country to be decolonised."

Oscar Temaru says he has the support of New Caledonia's FLNKS movement and Kanak unions.

No Pacific Island government supports Mr Temaru's bid although he has repeatedly raised the matter at the Pacific Islands Forum summit.