Wednesday, August 28, 2013
In May 2014, New Caledonian citizens will vote for three provincial assemblies and the national Congress. The results of this crucial election will determine the balance of forces between supporters and opponents of independence, and the next Congress will make crucial decisions on New Caledonia’s future political status (under the 1998 Nouméa Accord, the Congress can decide by 3/5 majority to proceed to a referendum on the transfer of key sovereign powers from Paris to Nouméa). This seminar outlines the issues for the 2014 elections and details the process required for a decolonization referendum in New Caledonia. The presentation assesses current debates over options for self-determination, autonomy, or independence. Since Pacific leaders gathered in Majuro, Marshall Islands in the first week of September, the presentation also discussed decolonization initiatives within the Pacific Islands Forum, Melanesian Spearhead Group, and United Nations.
Nic Maclellan works as a journalist and researcher in the Pacific Islands. He is a correspondent for Islands Business magazine (Fiji) and a contributor to The Contemporary Pacific, Tahiti-Pacifique magazine, and other regional media. He is co-author of La France dans le Pacifique - de Bougainville à Moruroa (Editions La Découverte, Paris) and After Moruroa – France in the South Pacific (Ocean Press, New York and Melbourne).