10 Mar 2003

Suggestion to overcome stagnation in Noumea Accord

5:16 pm on 10 March 2003

The President of New Caledonia's Human Rights League says there is an air of stagnation in applying the Noumea Accord, signed four years ago.

The Accord defines the devolution of power from France to an eventual vote on independence.

Walter Zweifel, in Noumea, has more.

"Elie Poigune says the French state is less visible now but its power in New Caledonia is greater than ever by dividing by remote control the Caledonians and the Kanaks. In a front page article in a local paper Mr Poigune deplores that the spirit of the Noumea Accord is no longer observed. The collegial government in Noumea is split and for months its members have failed to meet jointly. Mr Poigune called for one identity to be created and suggests this may be started by giving the territory a new name Kanaky-Nouvelle Caledonie"