22 Aug 2008

Decision on Wallis bid to join Forum deferred

1:53 pm on 22 August 2008

A bid by Wallis and Futuna to become an associated member of the Pacific Islands Forum will be considered again in two years.

The Forum leaders in Niue said in their communique that the territory's governance arrangements are still evolving toward a point where it can determine its own policy on regional issues.

Wallis and Futuna with its three kingdoms is a French overseas territory which became a Forum observer two years ago.

The two other French Pacific possessions, New Caledonia and French Polynesia, are associate members.

New Caledonia has been granted additional powers under the Noumea accord and is on track for a possible referendum on independence by 2018.

At the previous four Forum summits, French Polynesia unsuccessfully lobbied the Forum for support to join New Caledonia on the UN list of territories to be decolonised.