10 Jun 2008

Calls for more Pacific territories to be considered by UN Decolonisation Committee

3:02 pm on 10 June 2008

There is to be a renewed attempt to get the views of more Pacific provinces and territories heard at the United Nations Decolonisation Committee.

The Pacific Concerns Resource Centre, based in Suva, helps groups lobby over self determination.

A spokesman for the centre, Rex Rumakiek, says French Polynesia and West Papua are among those who would like to be added to the list of 16 under the remit of the Decolonisation Committee:

"It's very hard, very hard, because the committee itself doesn't really open up, so they stick to the protocols that they only entertain, or they only attend to countries that are already on the list, they don't want to interfere with anything outside the list. We've been trying to change that so they can listen to our presentations, our reports and the demand for, the reason why, they should still be on the list."

Mr Rumakiek, who is also Secretary-General of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, says his organisation is supporting groups to get to New York ahead of a meeting of the Decolonisation Committee later this month.

He says little progress has been made with those already on the list because of the attitude of many of the administering powers.

Mr Rumakiek suspects two of those powers, France and the United States, will lobby again for the committee to be abolished.