New Caledonian politicians of rival camps have gone to New York to put their case to this week's meeting of the UN decolonisation committee.
The territory has been on the decolonisation list for 31 years and is due to hold a referendum on independence from France next year.
Anti-independence politicians said they wanted to present their concept of decolonisation which wouldn't involve independence, by pointing to the extent of the territory's autonomy.
The rival pro-independence side is to seek a UN mission for an audit of what the decolonisation process has achieved to date.
It still wants full sovereignty.
The UN has already sent observers to monitor the updating of the restricted roll for the independence referendum which remains highly contested.
The UN is expected to have monitors present for the referendum.