17 Jul 2019

France still reluctant to accept UN decolonisation in Tahiti

5:31 am on 17 July 2019

A pro-independence politician in French Polynesia, Richard Tuheiava, says France remains reluctant to allow a UN delegation to visit as part of the decolonisation process.

The UN General Assembly reinscribed the French territory on its decolonisation list six years ago but unlike in the case of New Caledonia, France has shunned the world body's involvement.

Richard Tuheiava

Richard Tuheiava Photo: AFP

Mr Tuheiava said while an invitation by the current French Polynesian government was still open, his party was waiting for Paris to approve it.

"France as a state party remains very, very reluctant to the principle of the re-inscription," he said.

"This means if the mission is welcomed by the administering power, by France, that will also mean that the principle of the re-inscription has been approved, which is a significant step for us."

Mr Tuheiava said it was also clear that in view of the strategic considerations by the US and China in the region, France is keen to keep its Pacific dependencies under its control.