12 Sep 2011

French Polynesian politician says there's backing from Pacific on decolonisation issue

2:15 pm on 12 September 2011

A French Polynesian member of the French Senate, Richard Tuheiava, says several Pacific islands countries will lobby at the United Nations for the territory's re-inscription on the UN decolonisation list.

Last week, leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum responded to the lobbying by the French Polynesian government by saying the matter is between it and France.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Richard Tuheiava has taken issue with the interpretation of the Forum outcome by the Tahiti opposition. He notes that the Forum did endorse the principle of French Polynesia's right to self-determination which he says will be raised at the UN. Mr Tuheiava says the French government has not misread the situation and is already lobbying members of the UN decolonisation committee in New York. France says the territory has the largest measure of autonomy and its foreign minister said last week that Paris respected the people's expression that they wanted to stay with France."