2 Oct 2017

Tahiti leaders at UN decolonisation talks

8:27 pm on 2 October 2017

French Polynesian political leaders have flown to New York to argue their case at this week's UN decolonisation committee meeting.

French Polynesia leader Oscar Temaru.

French Polynesia leader Oscar Temaru. Photo: RNZI

The territory, which has been fully French since 1880, was returned onto the UN decolonisation list by the UN General Assembly in 2013.

France, which has resented the UN move and described it as a glaring interference, has been boycotting the committee's proceedings.

The pro-independence side, led by Oscar Temaru, has been unsuccessfully trying to engage the French government in the UN-supervised process.

The anti-independence side, led by the president Edouard Fritch, wants the territory to again be removed from the decolonisation list.

French Polynesia's president Edouard Fritch addresses inaugural Economic Forum

Edouard Fritch Photo: supplied French Polynesian presidency

In 2013, Mr Fritch and his predecessor Gaston Flosse called for an independence referendum before the end of the year, but France ignored their plea and the resolution to that end passed by the French Polynesian territorial assembly.

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