20 May 2010

Paris urged to aid French Polynesians over snub at UN meet

9:08 am on 20 May 2010

One of French Polynesia's members of the French Senate has urgently written to Paris over the exclusion of a French Polynesian delegation from the UN Decolonisation seminar under way in New Caledonia.

Richard Tuheiava has sent a letter to the French prime minister after he and the pro-independence leader, Oscar Temaru, were stopped from entering the venue of the talks which are being attended by delegations from nearly 30 countries and territories.

Mr Temaru has blamed French officials for the public snub in Noumea, but Tahiti delegates were never officially invited as France is refusing to re-enlist French Polynesia on the UN decolonisation list.

Mr Tuheiava says by barring the Tahiti delegation, the UN Decolonisation Committee's credibility is being undermined.

He says he is therefore asking the prime minister, Francois Fillon, to intervene so that such a breach, committed on French soil, be stopped.

New Caledonia was put on the UN list after the unrest of the 1980s.

No Pacific Island country supports the decolonisation bid by the Maohi people of French Polynesia.