28 Feb 2013

France objects to French Polynesia's decolonisation bid

2:29 pm on 28 February 2013

France has reportedly told a meeting at the UN in New York that French Polynesia's decolonisation bid is in a first instance an internal French affair.

The Nouvelles de Tahiti says the position was expressed by a French diplomat at a preliminary meeting at the Solomon Islands mission in New York where French Polynesia's president, Oscar Temaru, outlined his government's case to interested diplomats.

Mr Temaru has been campaigning for the UN General Assembly to re-inscribe the territory on the UN decolonisation list.

Another preliminary meeting is scheduled for later this week.

French Polynesia's opposition is outraged at Mr Temaru's campaign, saying there has been no referendum in its favour and likening the bid to him abusing his own people.

France removed French Polynesia, which was annexed in 1880, from the UN list in 1947 without consulting the population.

Paris strongly objected to the decolonisation of New Caledonia but bowed amid the unrest of the 1980s.