Fiji’s support for decolonisation good but limited in extent

The general secretary Pacific Conference of Churches says the position taken by Fiji on decolonisation was an example to the region, including the governments of Australia and New Zealand, but it needs to go further.

Reverend Francois Pihaatae says Fiji’s Prime Minister, Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama, only mentioned the Kanaks, and failed to mention the plight of other territories in the region when he addressed a regional seminar of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation (C24) in Nadi last week.

“Fiji will continue to encourage both sides to work positively within the spirit of the Agreement (Noumea Accord, 1998) towards a result that is seen as legitimate by all parties,” Bainimarama said.

Pihaate said, the PCC applauded the explicit support for Kanaky’s self-determination.

He said that all Pacific governments, particularly Fiji and Papua New Guinea – the two regional representatives on the C24 – also needed to “take a similar position on other non-self-governing Pacific territories.

The PCC has launched an initiative to increase awareness on the issue of decolonisation of respective communities in the region.

Other territories on the C24 list are American Samoa, Guam, Maohi Nui (French Polynesia), West Papua, Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Pitcairn and Tokelau.

West Papua is not on the C24 list but Pihaatae says the PCC will be lobbying Pacific leaders about sponsoring the inclusion of Indonesian territory.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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