12 August 2019


Statement to Special Committee on Decolonization (C24) 

Ms. Tiare-Maohi TAIRUA
President of the Association Union Chrétienne des Jeunes Gens 
United Nations, New York, N.Y. 
27th June 2019 

Madam Chair, 

Distinguished Members of the Special Committee, 

Independent expert analyses as the Blue Ocean Report on the French control of natural resources of French Polynesia as a violation of international law, the 2014 Independent Report on "The French Nuclear Testing in Ma’ohi-Nui/French Polynesia," the 2013 independent "Self-Governance Assessment on Ma’ohi-Nui/French Polynesia (already acknowledged by the General Assembly), and others could prove highly useful in informing the C24 and other relevant U.N. bodies of the challenges faced by the territories amid the insufficient implementation of the decolonization mandate in relation to French Polynesia and other territories similarly situated. 

Such independent analysis separates the facts from the political "spin" designed to lend an unwarranted legitimacy to contemporary dependency governance models such as the illusory autonomy administratively exercised by Ma’ohi-Nui/French Polynesia proxies. 

The overall lack of implementation of actions contained in decolonization resolutions since the beginning of the first International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism in 1990 is disturbing, and brings into serious question the extent of political will for the U.N. to carry out its mandate to bring an end to contemporary colonialism. 

It is, therefore, not surprising that there has been limited progress in achieving the goals of genuine decolonization, as opposed to mere colonial reform and modernization through attempts to justify contemporary colonialism. As one global decolonization expert observed before this committee in 2018: 

"This lack of implementation of actions mandated by the General Assembly can have the effect of relegating the debate to an exchange of differing opinions between those who recognize the true nature of contemporary colonialism, and those who have made an accommodation with it, irrespective of its democratic deficiencies. But this is not supposed to be about opinion. Rather, it is about providing member States with the opportunity for in-depth examination of the extent of genuine self-government in these territories on the basis of the requisite criteria of full political equality." 

Implementation of the mandate is the fundamental challenge, and continues to be the major stumbling block as we reach the end of the third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. The re-inscription of Ma’ohi-Nui/French Polynesia on the U.N. list of non self-governing territories in 2013 was a historic moment, achieved with great expectations that the U.N. would live up to its promise. 

We remain optimistic that a genuine process of implementation of these mandates will be enacted with the renewed energy and political will to advance our territory to the full measure of self-government with equal rights and justice. 

Thank You, Madam Chair.

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