1 Dec 2009

New Caledonia votes for assuming control over secondary education

9:45 am on 1 December 2009

New Caledonia's Congress has unanimously voted in favour of transferring the running of secondary school education from France to the territory.

This marks part of the gradual and irreversible transfer of power to New Caledonia as outlined in the 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy.

The president of the Congress, Harold Martin, says this marks the first time in the territory's history that the elected representatives of New Caledonia have decided themselves on a transfer of powers from Paris.

Yesterday's sitting was not attended by any Loyalty Islands province representatives because its assembly was dissolved over election irregularities in May which have led to the French supreme court calling for fresh elections this Sunday.

The Congress has also approved the transfer of powers in matters of maritime safety and domestic aviation safety.