23 May 2011

Committee reviewing New Caledonia's Noumea Accord to be reviewed

11:25 am on 23 May 2011

The French prime minister, Francois Fillon, says the committee reviewing New Caledonia's Noumea Accord will be changed for the next formal round of consultations due before the summer break.

The Accord provides for a phased and irreversible transfer of powers, leading to a possible vote on New Caledonia's independence after 2014.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Mr Fillon says the committee needs to keep pace with the changes seen since the accord was signed 13 years ago."

The anti-independence signatory of the accord was the RPCR but it is now split into a cluster of new and rival parties that also want to be part of the crucial talks on the territory's future.

The next committeee meeting in Paris needs to work on the agenda for the period of 2014 to 2018.

The RPCR successor party is keen on an early vote on independence to bury the issue while most others appear open to seeking a new arrangement with France.