28 Sep 2011

French Polynesia's decolonisation bid gets Pacific support at UN

11:35 am on 28 September 2011

The prime ministers of Vanuatu and Solomon Islands have spoken in favour of French Polynesia being reinscribed on the UN decolonisation list.

Sato Kilman of Vanuatu has told the UN General Assembly in New York that several Pacific Islands countries want the decolonisation committee to raise French Polynesia's case.

France removed the territory from the list but returned New Caledonia to it in 1986.

Paris is against the French Polynesian bid, saying the territory has the largest measure of autonomy within the French republic and gets two billion US dollars in annual transfers.

The French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, has called on the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to be consistent as the French leader has spoken out in support of Palestine's bid to be recognised as a state.

He says any relisting requires a majority at the UN which he says may be easier to find for French Polynesia than for Palestine.