3 May 2018

New Caledonia too small to be independent, says Gomes

5:25 pm on 3 May 2018

A leading New Caledonian anti-independence politician says the territory is too small to assume all the powers of an independent state.

Philippe Gomes

Philippe Gomes Photo: AFP

A former president and now French National Assembly member Philippe Gomes said it was impossible for New Caledonia to exercise powers such as defence, internal security, judiciary, external relations and monetary policy, which are still held by Paris.

Mr Gomes, writing in a local periodical, said the ultimate expression of independence for a sovereign state is to have a seat at the United Nations.

But he said today these seats are being bought by the superpowers trying to preserve their dominance.

Mr Gomes said if New Caledonians decide to leave the French Republic, they will be condemned to go begging for affiliations with other countries.

He made the claims in an article in the Revue Juridique Politique et Economique de Nouvelle Caledonie.

He said it will probably take a generation to get off the UN decolonisation list because the pro-independence camp will first have to go through a period of mourning and accept a new arrangement after the November referendum.

New Caledonia has a population of just over a quarter of a million.

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