12 Dec 2016

UN makes call on Tahiti's self-determination

7:24 am on 12 December 2016

The United Nations has adopted a resolution asking France to put in place a self-determination process for French Polynesia.

The resolution said the people of French Polynesia should freely choose its political status, noting that over 30 years France carried out nuclear weapons tests which have had an impact on health and the environment.

It called on France to intensify the dialogue despite French Polynesia's government in October calling for the territory to be removed from the United Nations decolonisation list.

France has refused to organise a referendum in Tahiti despite being asked by the territorial assembly three years ago.

France pulled the so-called French Establishments in Oceania off the UN decolonisation list in 1947 - 67 years after it annexed the erstwhile Kingdom of Tahiti.

However, in 2013 the UN General Assembly returned French Polynesia to the list.

The move angered Paris which labelled it as glaring interference by the UN and it has shunned co-operation with the UN on the matter.

France does however recognise the UN in the decolonisation process of its other Pacific territory, New Caledonia, which is due for a referendum on independence within two years.

Port of Tahiti

Port of Tahiti Photo: RNZI Walter Zweifel

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