22 Aug 2011

France notes Tahiti decolonisation bid, urges focus on economy

7:07 am on 22 August 2011

France says it has taken note of French Polynesia's assembly vote to seek reinscription on the UN decolonisation list.

The government of Oscar Temaru says this will now be on the agenda of next month's Pacific Islands Forum summit in New Zealand.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The French overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, says French Polynesia already enjoys considerable autonomy and its government should instead focus on an economic recovery. The opposition in Tahiti says Mr Temaru will fail as the French foreign minister will be in Auckland in a bid to retain the Pacific countries' solidarity with France in opposing French Polynesia's decolonisation effort. At four previous Forum summits, Mr Temaru's lobbying was ignored but his office now says the issue will be on the agenda after New Zealand changed its position. France reinscribed New Caledonia on the UN list in 1986."