02 July 2019


Reverend Taaroarii Maraea 
President of the Ma’ohi Protestant Church
Statement to Special Committee on Decolonization
United Nations, New York, N.Y. 
28th June 2019

Madam Chair,

Distinguished Members of the Special Committee,

I have the honour to address you in my capacity as President of the Ma’ohi Protestant Church. I wish to express my deepest gratitude for allowing myself to speak before this
Committee on the question of Ma’ohi-Nui/French Polynesia.

I wish to draw the attention of the Committee to the communication submitted in early October 2018 to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in
The Hague, Netherlands, and a second communication submitted on 30 October 2018 to the Special Rapporteur on the Implications for Human Rights of the Environmentally Sound Management and Disposal of Hazardous Substances and Wastes, in Geneva, Switzerland, both in relation to the 30 years of French nuclear testing in our territory.

In this regard, the International Law Commission is to be commended for its ongoing work on the draft articles on crimes against humanity. This work is especially important in
giving further clarity to what constitutes such a crime and the requisite recompense.

I take note that the 2019 Working Paper on Ma’ohi-Nui/French Polynesia makes only a short reference to both ICC and Human Rights Committee complaints while the draft resolution on Ma’ohi-Nui/French Polynesia omits any reference to it altogether.

We continue to pose the question as to why these developments are not worthy of U.N. consideration, or whether there is undue pressure exerted by the administering Power behind the scenes to censor such references. Nevertheless, our people will continue to monitor how the U.N. deals with these stealth diplomacy tactics in future.

To this end, I recall that as a presidential candidate, Emmanuel Macron stated that:

“Colonization is a crime. It’s a crime against humanity. It’s truly barbarous and it’s part of a past that we need to confront by apologizing to those against whom we committed these acts... At the same time, we must not sweep this past under the rug…"

We hold the now-French President to this commitment. However, the actions of a U.N. member State and P-5 member - is that of a contemporary colonial power utterly dismissive of Article 73 of the U.N. Charter, reflecting the opposite of his earlier lofty words. It is, in fact, doing its best to "sweep the issue under the rug" by seeking to persecute those who have stood bravely in the face of the colonial power.

This was one of the motives of the Ma’ohi Protestant Church for submitting an official communication to the relevant U.N. Special Rapporteur to the Human Rights Committee.

Recently, the Administering Power monitored a revision process of the bilateral Organic Law regarding Ma’ohi-Nui/French Polynesia within its Parliament in Paris. As a matter of fact, the new preambular paragraph of such Organic Law now reflects a so-called “positive contribution” provided by the territory of Ma’ohi-Nui/French Polynesia in favour of the colonial nuclear programme implemented by France.

This provocative language currently being adopted by the French Parliament is an outrageous “mis-interpretation” of the painful history and the sufferings that the Ma’ohi People
went through without its consent.

The Ma’ohi Protestant Church is nevertheless extremely pleased that the Committee resolution this year has restored an amended version of the paragraph in its 2019 resolution on our territory, and we strongly request that the committee ensures that the "continuous updates" requested of the Secretary-General in the resolution are far more extensive than the two previous reports.

Thank You, Madam Chair.