A ceremony has been held in New Caledonia to usher in the construction of
the 2011 Pacific Games athletes village in Noumea.
The junior French minister in charge of overseas territories, Marie-Luce Penchard, laid the foundation stone at a site which on completion will house first the atheletes and then be turned into accommodation for university students.
The ceremony was attended by local top politicians, including the president of the territorial government, the territory's Congress, provincial assembly members and the mayor of Noumea.
There were no Pacific Islands delegates at the event although a number of politicians are in town for the French summit with Pacific leaders, including Nauru's President Marcus Stephen, who is a former Games gold medallist.