23 December 2013

France has international legal responsibility to decolonise French Polynesia

France told it can’t ignore French 

Polynesia’s decolonisation push

Radio New Zealand International

French Polynesia’s pro-independence party says it is unacceptable for France to ignore the United Nations stance on the territory’s decolonisation.

A further UN General Assembly resolution has asked France to enter a dialogue with the people of French Polynesia to rapidly set up a self-determination process.

Tahiti’s pro-independence leader, Oscar Temaru, says the UN position is a victory for his side.
picture by lejdd.fr

OSCAR TEMARU: I’d like to say it’s a great victory for us, who have been fighting for the right to self-determination since - my first trip to New York was in 1978 and last May 17th the United Nations has adopted that resolution to replace Tahiti on the list under the oversight of the committee of decolonisation. 

And from there the Fourth Committee has adopted an order resolution and now it is adopted by the General Assembly, which means the majority of countries throughout the world are asking France to assume its responsibility towards one of its colonies, which is French Polynesia. 

The attitude of France is well known to us. They’re trying to ignore what has been decided by the United Nations. I think politically it is unacceptable for a country known throughout the world as a country of human rights, a country of freedom. So it is a great victory, but the struggle is not over. We have to educate our people, take time to get together with all our people throughout this big country. 

Should I remind you that our country Maohi Nui is a big country as big as Europe - 5 million square kilometres - with all the resources we have in this country, the resources are under our sea-bed. That is the main stakehold. We all know that France is looking after those resources also to develop its country, not to develop our own country.

french polynesia map, map of french polynesia, french polynesia outline map
illustration by worldatlas.com

WALTER ZWEIFEL: Now, as recently as two weeks ago, the overseas minister Victorin Lurel was in Tahiti and he gave an address to the Assembly saying that France refuses to subscribe to this decolonisation process. What does that mean for you?

OT: That’s why I told you it’s a great victory. The United Nations is telling France, the administrating power, to assume its responsibility towards our country Maohi Nui.