Question of the integration of New Caledonia as a full member of the Pacific Islands Forum

Roch WAMYTAN

UC-FLNKS and NATIONALISTS Group

FLNKS Signatory of the Noumea Accord

President of the Group Congress of New Caledonia

rockwamytan@hotmail.com

roch.wamytan@congres.nc

To H.E. Dame Meg TAYLOR Secretary General to the Pacific Islands Forum

Noumea, 5th September 2016

Subject: Question of the integration of New Caledonia as a full member of the Pacific Islands Forum

Excellency, During the 47th Summit of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) which will be held from September 7 to 11, 2016, in Pohnpei, Federates States of Micronesia, the candidacy of New Caledonia to the status of full member will be again examined.

In this way, considering the current political situation in Kanaky/New Caledonia, particularly in the prospect of electoral consultation on the achievement of full sovereignty of the country which is planned from 2018, I am writing to send you the position of my political group at the Congress of New Caledonia, shared also by the FLNKS1 .

This letter is in the continuity of the letter I sent you already last year. First, let me remind the role of the PIF in the international support of the Kanak people’s struggle, in particularly within the framework of the reinscription, in 1986, of 1 Until now, during all the FLNKS Congresses, no motion was passed in the direction of an agreement for the change of status of New Caledonia in the PIF. New Caledonia on the United Nations list of Non Self Governing Territories.

This support was able to be developed, among others, under the aegis of our countries brothers of the Melanesia. Indeed, since 1986, the FLNKS benefits a special guest status as an observer member of the PIF. In 1998, after the signing of the Nouméa Accord which involved the country in a process of emancipation and decolonization, the Kanak independentists have accepted to integrate the government of New Caledonia at the time and place of the FLNKS as observer member within the PIF. This open-mindedness gesture was made during the PIF’s summit in Palau in 1999. Besides, in 2006, New Caledonia became associate member of the PIF.

In September 2013, following a mission of the ministerial committee in New Caledonia, the executives of the organization recognized the legitimacy of the New Caledonian candidacy for the status of full member within PIF. Unfortunately, since 2006, we notice a sidelining of the independentist executives concerning all the decisions, as political as diplomatic, relative to the PIF, taken by the government of New Caledonia. Moreover I had informed Mr Henri PUNA of this problem, in 2013, during the mission of the ministerial committee. As signatory of the Noumea Accord, I have called out on several occasions the partners of this accord on the respect for its sincere and whole implementation.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group, the PIF and the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization were also notified on the problems that our country crosses, in particular on the question of the establishment and the revision of the special electoral rolls for the provincial elections and for the consultation on the country’s achievement of full sovereignty.

As you know, Oceania is today considered as the new center of the world growth, provided with a considerable potential which can raise the challenges of the 21th century (energy, raw materials, halieutic resources, etc.). So, it is clear that France, in the name of its greatness, of its place in the world, of its best interests, of its rank of the second naval strength in the world behind the USA, wishes to ensure to keep the sovereign powers in New Caledonia. Recently, a symposium organized by the French Senate in January 2013, in Paris, confirmed again the interest of France for its French territories of the Pacific.

The speakers of this symposium thus recommended to defend in this continent the best interests of France in connection with the public and private French companies. France also defends its own interests by using the French territories as a bridgehead or support base.

Concerning French overseas territories, the President François Hollande during his tour of the « last French colonies » had a constant in his speeches: « France is present all around the world, a country where the sun never goes down, France is a country of Oceania, Indian Ocean, America, the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean ».

These declarations express the politic of red line of the forbidden independence which France implements. Sometimes, under the cover of democracy, we can reveal maneuvers of a State trying to assure its domination while putting up a good show in front of the international community. The independentist executives that we are have what to be worried in view of this situation in French overseas territories and taking in consideration the declarations of certain high-level French politicians following the example of President François Hollande during his last journey in New Caledonia in November 2014 asserting in his speech in the Tjibaou Cultural center that the best interests of France are also situated in the Pacific.

Yet, New Caledonia is an oceanian country and France is an european country. The FLNKS gave time to build and reach its independence. Important results were obtained, but serious drifts, further to a deliberated will of confinement from the State, led New Caledonia towards a trapdoor into which France locks it more and more in the name of the best interests of the Nation. For us, it is so out of the question for the moment, and as long as New Caledonia is not independent, that she could obtain the status of full member within the PIF.

In the same line, it is inconceivable for us, as regard to the Melanesian Spearhead Group, that the FLNKS could give its place to the government of New Caledonia. Because it would definitely let France enter in these regional organizations, following the principle of the « Trojan horse », organizations which were of all fights for the Kanak people’s independence. Our country which is going to commemorate, on September 24th, 2016, 163 years of taking possession by France, does not have vocation to play eternally the role of casting a favourable light on its administrative power which the only purpose is to claim, in the eyes of the nations of this region, its status of « oceanian » country, to benefit from this position.

The geographical and political reality reminds that France, situated in 20 000 km of the Pacific is an european, and not an oceanian State. To permanently tweak the shot on this basic reality amounts to maintain the colonialist and imperialist system, and paves the way for future situations of conflicts. More than ever New Caledonia, Melanesia and the Pacific, need stability, cohesion and peace. Gain independence peacefully and through negotiation was a difficult choice that we made. The support of regional institutions (PIF, MSG) and Independent States of the region is crucial for our people and our country. Indeed, the balance of power between the Administering power, France, and the colonized people, the Kanak people, is not in our favor.

If we are engaged for 30 years in a decolonization process with the signing of the political agreements (Matignon and Noumea) with our colonial power, we believe that it does not want the independence of our country. We are today in the last mandate of the Noumea Accord, and the political development of these last months does not allow us to envisage the granting, to New Caledonia, of a status of full member within the PIF.

In this way, allow non-independent and non-autonomous countries to become full member of the PIF is equivalent to bring our colonial power as a full member. Because the sovereign powers and full sovereignty is always that of the colonial power. Support for regional institutions and independent countries in the region is indispensable in our fight for independence. Considering elements developed above, I am writing to ask for your understanding, kindness, and support of your high authority to postpone the examination of the candidacy of New Caledonia to the status of full member of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Finally, I inform you that brother countries of our Pacific region, the Melanesian Spearhead Group, and the President of the United Nations Special Committee of Decolonization, were also seized on this matter.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

President of the UC-FLNKS and Nationalists Group Former president of the Congress of New Caledonia (2011-2012/2013-2014) Former president of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (2001-2003) Former president of the FLNKS (1995-2001) Roch WAMYTAN

Question of the integration of New Caledonia as a full member of the Pacific Islands Forum was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

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