Norfolk Islanders say the failure to have an amicable dialogue with Australia prompted them to present a petition to the UN accusing Canberra of violating their right to self-determination.
The petition was delivered on Monday in New York as a last resort after Australia ended the island's limited self-government.
A former Norfolk Island Chief Minister claimed Australia continued to wage a heavy handed roll-out of administrative changes that will see the island become a ward of New South Wales from July 1st.
Andre Nobbs said this was despite 68 percent of the island's residents voting against the changes.
"There are far better ways to do what is being done here," he said.
"We have put out the olive branch for collaboration for decades and it has now led us to a point where the only solution is an independent oversight solution such as the UN self-determination process."
Mr Nobbs said residents were also distressed by ongoing cuts to public service positions which could see 30 percent of Norfolk Island residents out of a job come July.