24 Oct 2007

French Polynesia believes decolonisation bid has tacit regional support

5:12 pm on 24 October 2007

A spokesperson for the French Polynesia government says it believes there is support from other countries in the region for its push to have the territory re-inscribed on the United Nations de-colonisation list.

President Oscar Temaru made a call - his third in four years - at this year's Pacific Islands' Forum summit for regional leaders to assist this process.

But there was no mention of self-determination in the region in the leaders' communique.

French Polynesia spokesperson, Tea Hirshon, says countries like Papua New Guinea may privately back the push but giving public approval is another matter.

"We understand that diplomatically it is not something easy to manage. And France also this year being the guest of honour made it even more delicate to actually, officially make a stand. But I think that most leaders of the Pacific know what is happening here."

Tea Hirshon says if PNG supported French Polynesia's push it would be obliged to back the call by neighbouring West Papua for self-determination.