11 Mar 2010

FLNKS backs New Caledonia bid for full Forum membership

6:41 pm on 11 March 2010

New Caledonia's pro-independence FLNKS movement has spoken out in favour of New Caledonia's bid to be given full membership of the Pacific Islands Forum.

The FLNKS spokesman, Victor Tutugoro, says his movement is in favour of New Caledonia's government joining regional institutions, including the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

His comment follows this week's approach on the matter by New Caledonia's President, Philippe Gomes, to the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, Australia's Prime minister Kevin Rudd.

Mr Tutugoro says the FLNKS, which now has four ministries in the collegial government, is represented in the delegation led by Mr Gomes.

New Caledonia became an associate Forum member in 2005 as part of a drive by the then French leadership to promote the integration of the French Pacific territories into the region.