Radio New Zealand International - May 17, 2013

The United Nations General Assembly has put French Polynesia (Tahiti) back on the UN list of territories to be decolonized at a meeting boycotted by France.

The resolution, passed by consensus, was sponsored by Solomon Islands, Nauru and Tuvalu last February but not tabled until today.

It calls on France to intensify its dialogue with French Polynesia to include a fair self-determination process.

France withdrew its Pacific territories from the UN list in 1947 and resisted the re-inscription bid by the French Polynesian government, whose term is set to end in a few hours after its election loss two weeks ago.

The campaign was driven for decades by the pro-independence politician, Oscar Temaru, who flew to New York to attend today’s vote.

The newly-elected majority in the French Polynesian assembly held its first sitting yesterday and controversially changed the agenda to hold a vote wishing an immediate end to the decolonization process.

France has immediately condemned the UN move, describing it as a glaring interference in its affairs and a total lack of respect for the choice made by Polynesian voters.

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