9 Aug 2004

French Polynesian president defends decolonisation stance

3:27 pm on 9 August 2004

The President of French Polynesia, Oscar Temaru, has dismissed criticism from Tahiti that he has no right to push for the territory to be re-inscribed on the United Nations List for Non Self Governing Territories.

At the weekend, Mr Temaru asked Pacific Forum leaders to back his campaign.

At their summit in Samoa, the leaders said they supported, in principle, the quest for self determination and recommended that the territory and France develop a common understanding on the issue.

A former president, Gaston Flosse, says Mr Temaru does not have the mandate for such an action.

Mr Temaru says he has more support than New Caledonia's FLNKS had when it succeeded in being reinscribed on the list in 1988.

"So it is normal that I took the floor here to speak up and as the leaders of the South Pacific Forum to take this issue and try to support the re-inscription of our country on the list of non-autonomous countries."

The President of French Polynesia, Oscar Temaru