New Tahiti call to get off UN decolonisation list

2:08 pm on 19 May 2017

French Polynesia has again called on the United Nations to take the territory off the decolonisation list - four years after the UN General Assembly put Tahiti and its islands back on the list.

A view of the United Nations General Assembly Chamber during UNGASS 2016.

UN General Assembly Chamber UNGASS 2016. Photo: Russell Brown.

The call was made by its delegate for international affairs Manuel Terai at a UN seminar in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Mr Terai said the UN has ignored a resolution by the French Polynesian assembly from May 2013 that stated that neither the government nor the assembly had consulted the voters whether they favoured the reinscription.

The Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) of the General Assembly heard statements by representatives of non-self-governing territories and petitioners including French Polynesia.

The Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) of the General Assembly heard statements by representatives of non-self-governing territories and petitioners including French Polynesia. Photo: UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

At the time, the assembly also asked France to hold a referendum on self-determination but Paris has so far shown no sign that it wants to accede to the request.

Mr Terai said French Polynesia was an autonomous territory in the sense of the UN charter and should therefore not be on the list.

Under its autonomy, regal powers such as defence, justice and foreign affairs remain with France.

France annexed the kingdom of Tahiti in 1880.