25 February 2013

Support grows for U.N. to resume consideration of French Polynesia

Pacific Church Leaders Support Self-Determination For TahitiPacific Conference of Churches calls on Forum Leaders to do the same.

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Feb. 25, 2013) –Pacific church leaders say it's time for the region to support moves towards independence by the indigenous people of Tahiti, or Maohi Nui. 

A proposal to endorse the re-inscription of Tahiti on the United Nations Decolonization Committee's list will be on the agenda at the Pacific Conference of Churches' annual General Assembly in Solomon Islands this week, despite opposition from France, New Zealand and Australia. 

PCC Acting General Secretary and Tahiti native, Reverend Francois Pihaate, told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program that it was time Pacific Island Forum Leaders showed their support for the move. "They should not try to 'play it safe' by dodging the real issue and trying to cover up by inscribing words of encouragement - this brushes aside the human rights struggles of the people of Maohi Nui," Reverend Pihaatae said. 

"For too long Maohi Nui has been fighting for her freedom and it's time we, as a Pacific family, stand up with a united voice to offer our support." 

A delegation from the World Council of Churches will visit the French-held territory in April for talks with authorities, churches and the people to listen to views on self-determination. The council will also send a delegation to the PCC General Assembly.

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