The president of the New Caledonia Congress, Gael Yanno has participated for the first time in a meeting of the United Nations Decolonisation Committee.
Mr Yanno, who is a loyalist and part of the dominant group in the Congress, faced off at the UN meeting against two representatives of the FLNKS, Roch Wamytan and Michael Forrest.
He says the non-separatists want to have their voices heard and proposed a dialogue on the future of the territory, to build on the 1998 Noumea Accord.
He says in the 21st century it is completely possible to be proud to be Caledonian and proud to be French.
But Mr Wamytan was critical of the vote in the elections held in May, saying the definition of eligible voters was too restrictive.
He says the separatists do not want another agreement like the Noumea Accord, under which state powers have been transferred to local officials, but rather to make New Caledonia a sovereign nation.