28 November 2013

The Decolonisation Papers: French Polynesia political leader addresses Melanesian Spearhead Group on self-determination issue

Statement by

Mr Oscar Manutahi TEMARU
President of Tavini Huiraatira
 
19th MSG Summit
 

CPS, Nouméa, Kanaky

Mr. President of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, 

Dear Victor,

Honorable prime ministers of member states,

Honorable observers and guests,

Honorable members of Kanaky’s institutions,

Ia orana, Talofa,

My first thoughts go to the People of Kanaky, and to your elders whom I had the honor to walk and fight along in the past. Jean-Marie, Yéwené, Yan Séléné, Roch Pidjot, Eloi … I know that you are watching us as we gather here.

This year’s summit is about a “Free and united Pacific”. 

As you all know, all of us are not yet free, but MSG has never failed to support this quest while trying to maintain unity.

You were at the forefront of the FLNKS struggle that led to their relisting on the UN list of non-autonomous territories back in 1986.

For the last two years MSG has again proved that strength lies in unity. Along with the Polynesian countries, you stood strong in supporting the quest of the Maohi People at the United Nations. Adoption of resolution L56 Rev. 1 on May 17th is tangible proof of this unity in pursuit of freedom.

Be assured that the Maohi People will never forget your support. I cannot but give a special “mauruuru” to the Honorable Gordon Darcy Lilo, prime minister of Solomon Islands, whose leadership never failed and gave his ambassador at the UN, Mr Collin beck the indomitable courage and resolve to go forward, despite formidable pressure and lobbying from big countries.

Kanaky and Maohi Nui are now both under the oversight of the United Nations, towards self-determination.

I would have a special request. I don’t know if it is possible but I will ask anyway. I am making this request on my behalf and that of my late brothers, Jean-Marie, Yéwéné, Eloi

I know that you have an upcoming referendum. I would like you to consider “waiting” for us, so that Kanaky and Ma’ohi Nui hold their referendum at the same time. Not too far. Possibly before the end of François Hollande’s term.

Please think about it.

To us, you member states of MSG, are proof that independence can mean sustainable development and good governance, for true social and economic progress that benefits the People.

Yet, remnants of colonial times are still trying to scare our Peoples and convince us that we are not fit to manage our own destinies.

Together we have huge resources and potential that are coveted by big sharks that roam our oceans.

It is therefore very important that MSG, and the newly formed PLG work closely to share best practices and experience of this globalized world in which we all live today.

I am sure that, under FLNKS leadership, the excellent work done by Commodore Bainimarama will be pursued and kept up to the new challenges ahead.

This year, MSG celebrates its 25th anniversary. Next year it will be 25 years since Jean-Marie Tjibaou and Yéwéné.

Yéwéné left us. Time flies but the true legacy remains.

Mauruuru, e te aroha ia rahi.