6 Oct 2017

UN told about New Caledonia woes

1:57 pm on 6 October 2017

New Caledonian delegates have addresses the UN decolonisation committee in New York as the territory's independence referendum nears.

Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia.

Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The pro-independence FLNKS movement has told the UN decolonisation committee that problems persist with the Noumea Accord which is the territory's roadmap to next year's self-determination referendum.

Speaking to the committee, a FLNKS delegate Mickael Forrest said the Accord was not respected in a number of ways.

Mr Forrest also said the use of natural resources was not profiting the local population.

"I have the honour to ask you to authorise the despatch of a mission of the committee to visit during the referendum. We have to in fact help the administrative power to free itself from the vestiges of colonialism," he said.

The FLNKS flag

Photo: RNZI/ Johnny Blades

A first independence referendum was held in 1987 when France rejected UN observers.

More than 98 percent voted against independence but groups like the FLNKS boycotted the referendum.

Former president of New Caledonia's Congress, Gael Yanno.

Former president of New Caledonia's Congress, Gael Yanno. Photo: AFP

Meanwhile, New Caledonia's anti-independence side told the committee that next year's self-determination referendum must take place in transparent conditions.

Loyalist politician Gael Yanno said it is imperative that the vote is held in such a way that the outcome cannot be challenged.

Mr Yanno said contrary to claims by the pro-independence side there are no irregularities in the process of organising the plebiscite.

"There is in New Caledonia neither organised fraud, nor cheating, nor anomaly with the electoral roll," he said.