26 Jul 2006

PCRC says Temaru let down by Pacific leaders

7:22 pm on 26 July 2006

The Pacific Concerns Resource Centre in Fiji says French Polynesia's President, Oscar Temaru, is being let down by Pacific Islands Forum leaders in his bid to get the territory re-enscribed on the UN decolonsiation list.

The Suva-based non-governmental group says the Forum meeting two years ago supported in its statement the principle of French Polyensia's right to self-determination.

But Peter Emberson of the PCRC says the Pacific leaders allow Mr Temaru to be bullied for raising the subject of possible independence.

Mr Emberson says while aid and trade negotiations have changed politics in the region, regional leaders have said they endorse the right to self-determination.

"And all this rhetoric hasn't been backed up in action by the simple gesture, like supporting one of their fellow Forum leaders."

Peter Emberson says the UN process is the only internationally accepted way to independence.

The French President, Jacques Chirac, says he recognises the people's rights to self-determination but France has ruled out any UN process for French Polynesia.

The process has been granted to New Caledonia after the unrest of the 1980's.