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Monday, 19 November 2012
Page: 9114

Cook Islands

(Question No. 2390)

Senator Ludlam asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 19 October 2012:

(1) What is Australia’s position, and what activities has Australia recently undertaken, regarding French Polynesia’s bid to be re-inscribed on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

(2) What occurred in relation to this issue at the 2012 Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

(3) Will Australia oppose international scrutiny of the self determination process at the Cook Islands meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

(4) Is the Government aware that in September 2012, the Final Communiqué of the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement affirmed the inalienable right of the people of French Polynesia, Ma’ohi Nui, to self determination in accordance with Chapter XI of the Charter of the United Nations and the United Nations General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV).

Senator Bob Carr: The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

(1) Australia supports the principle of French Polynesia’s right to self-determination and also supports dialogue between France and French Polynesia on how best to realise that right. Australia joined other Forum countries in reaffirming this position at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting in Rarotonga in August 2012.

(2) The Communiqué of the Pacific Islands Forum in Cook Islands in August 2012 stated that “Leaders reiterated their support for the principle of French Polynesia’s right to self-determination. Leaders noted the election of a new French government that opened fresh opportunities for a positive dialogue between French Polynesia and France on how best to realise French Polynesia’s right to self-determination. Leaders encouraged French Polynesia and France to intensify their dialogue in the coming months and agreed to consider developments at their 2013 meeting”.

(3) Australia is not a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and does not attend its meetings

(4) Yes.