24 Jun 2010

Noumea Accord review to open in Paris

3:51 pm on 24 June 2010

New Caledonian leaders have arrived in Paris to review the 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy.

The meeting comes after the French overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, visited New Caledonia to meet local leaders to help set the agenda for the review.

The New Caledonian delegates are to meet the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been calling for the opening of a debate about the territory's future status before 2014 which is the earliest date for a possible independence referendum.

Efforts to develop a New Caledonian identity appear to have slowed, with continued disagreements over the kind of flag to adopt.

The pro-independence side has accused the anti-independence politician, Pierre Frogier, of reneging on the Noumea Accord by resisting the creation of a new flag that excludes the French flag.