Fritch urges France to join Tahiti decolonisation talks

7:37 pm on 9 October 2017

The French Polynesian president Edouard Fritch says he has asked the French UN ambassador to join him at next year's decolonisation talks about Tahiti in New York.

French Polynesia's president Edouard Fritch

French Polynesia's president Edouard Fritch Photo: AFP

France has been boycotting the UN decolonisation committee since 2013 when the UN General Assembly reinscribed French Polynesia on the list of non-self-governing territories.

Speaking to Tahiti Nui TV after returning from New York, Mr Fritch said he was alone against 16 pro-independence delegates who turned up to insult the French state.

Becoming a full member of the Pacific Islands Forum, Mr Fritch said, was a strong sign that French Polynesia was truly autonomous and the decolonisation committee should take note of that.

He had been pushing for the territory to be removed from the decolonisation list.

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

The territory lacks the authority to sign international treaties or pass laws without the colonial power's approval.

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