Key talks are due to start in Paris today to prepare next year's independence referendum in New Caledonia.
The French prime minister Edouard Philippe will chair the meeting of the signatories to the Noumea Accord.
New Caledonia's pro- and anti-independence politicians have already been in Paris for several days to discuss their positions with government leaders and officials before today's formal talks.
Several issues need to resolved, among them the question of who will be allowed to vote.
Mr Philippe has said the referendum has to be transparent and monitored to ensure nobody can afterwards call into question its outcome.
He also said he hoped New Caledonia's politicians will find common ground in trying to word the exact referendum question.
Much is riding on the success of the talks aimed at charting a common destiny as all sides are keen to avert the kind of divisions seen in the 1980s.