4 Mar 2013

Temaru returns to Tahiti from decolonisation talks at UN

2:27 pm on 4 March 2013

French Polynesia's president, Oscar Temaru, has returned from New York after a third trip to the United Nations in three months to lobby for the territory's re-inscription on the UN decolonisation list.

Les Nouvelles de Tahiti reports that the revised draft resolution has now been lodged with the UN secretariat and is expected to be put to a vote in the General Assembly at a date yet to be determined.

The move comes amid strong opposition by the territory's so-called pro-autonomy camp which wants to maintain the status-quo.

It has accused Mr Temaru of abusing his people by turning to the UN, saying he lacks a mandate to do so.

Mr Temaru says a reinscription will compel France to help the territory develop but the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira says the onus for any such deal will be on France because the UN has no money.

Last week, France's representative at the UN told the ABC Paris opposed Mr Temaru's bid, saying it was in a first instance a French affair which was being used as part of the election campaign in Tahiti.

Mr Temaru has campaigned for the UN re-listing for decades after France removed it in 1947 without consulting the population.