By Tupuola Terry Tavita
The Polynesian Leaders Group has endorsed the people of French Polynesia’s right to self determination.
Responding to a plea for support from former president Oscar Temaru (pictured), Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailelele Malielegaoi said “that if that is the will of the people of Tahiti Nui, then the PLG will support it” at the Forum level.
It was unanimously supported by PLG leaders.
Speaking to reporters outside the meeting, Tuilaepa said that big countries with colonial territories need to rethink their policies, reflect on the future.
“We live in a very globalised world now where you need all the allies you can garner,” he said.
“Colonialism is a thing of the past. Big countries need all the friends they can get at the international level. So granting their territories independence and letting them become independent countries is one way to create allies.”
Tuilaepa pointed to Samoa’s relationship with its former administrator New Zealand.
“We’ve had our difference but that is water long under the bridge. There are many issues today that we see eye to eye on. Our relationship now is of mutual benefit to both our countries, our people. We have had a very successful relationship for many years.
This can be replicated with other countries and their former territories, in fact, it is being successfully done elsewhere in the world.
Addressing the Forum leaders this morning, Mr Temaru asked the leaders to push for Tahiti Nui to be reinscribed on the United Nations Decolonisation List.
“We are asking for the very right to a consistent, relevant, respectful self-determination process that will bring dignity to all parties involved.”