A Look Back at the Pacific Regional Seminar
02 June 2022
Mickaël Forrest, minister for foreign Relations in collaboration with the President, held a press conference on Tuesday May 31. He outlined the outcomes of the regional seminar for the Pacific, organized by the UN Special Committee on Decolonization, which he attended from May 11 to 13.
Since 1990, the Special Committee on Decolonization (or C24) has held regional seminars to assess progress in implementing the action plans related to the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. The period 2021-2030 marks the fourth decade of the action plan.
Impacts of the Covid-19 Crisis
This year's regional seminar for the Pacific had as its main theme "the promotion of non-self-governing territories during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond". The opportunity for Mickaël Forrest, representing the Executive, to outline the impacts of the health crisis in New Caledonia.
he detailed the measures taken by the Government to respond to the crisis, emphasizing the importance of partnerships during this period. The mobilization of "civil society, which supported us in setting up local vaccination sites, and the support of the French government with "the dispatch of the health reserve and vaccines" were also praised.
He also mentioned the essential actions of cooperation and regional solidarity initiated with Fiji, Vanuatu, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna during the epidemic period.
As it was the case all over the world, the health crisis had heavy financial and budgetary consequences, to which have been accentuated by the current state of global affairs. Mickaël Forrest had the opportunity to explain some of the initiatives implemented by the Government to remedy this situation, such as the fiscal programming or the measures to fight inflation, recently adopted by the Executive.
The UN as a Key Partner
Since it was reinstated on the list of non-self-governing territories, like 16 other countries, in 1986, New Caledonia has had the opportunity to speak through the voice of several of its representatives, about the issues related to its institutional future.
For the Minister, the meeting in St. Lucia has allowed to identify the various levers, including legal ones, offered by the UN bodies to support New Caledonia at the end of its process of emancipation and decolonization.
According to Mickaël Forrest, the Special Committee on Decolonization should "play the role entrusted to it by the General Assembly. The UN represents a key support for the territory "in the perspectives that we must engage in with the United Nations, the French Government and all the New Caledonian actors, to find a dynamic which will allow us dynamics to emerge serenely from the Nouméa Agreement" he said.
Mickaël Forrest also announced the arrival in New Caledonia of a mission of the Special Committee on Decolonization, scheduled for the second half of this year. This will be the third visit of this kind since 2014.