7 Sep 2011

French Polynesia president claims success in decolonisation lobbying

3:19 pm on 7 September 2011

The French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, says he is certain that his territory's decolonisation bid will be discussed at the United Nations soon.

Speaking in Auckland before the Forum's opening, Mr Temaru claimed to have the support of all Forum countries except Australia and New Zealand for his request to have French Polynesia reinscribed on the UN decolonisation list.

The Forum has consistently ignored Mr Temaru's lobbying in the past, but he now says it only takes one Forum country to put the matter on the agenda of this year's summit.

The French Polynesian delegation says it will be off to New York soon.

Mr Temaru says he doesn't understand the French objection, given that it allowed New Caledonia to be put back on the list.

France is opposed to a UN role in its relationship with French Polynesia, highlighting its autonomy and the huge transfers of funds from Paris to Tahiti every year.

The assembly in French Polynesia passed a resolution on the issue but the opposition has been outraged by the process, saying the document is illegitimate and possibly even illegal.