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French Polynesia Put Back on Decolonization List, US, Germany & UK Disassociate

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 17 -- French Polynesia got taken off the list of non-self governing territories, but Friday was put back on. France managed to get the resolution delayed in 2011, but not this time. Afterward there were "disassociation" speeches by the UK, Netherlands, Germany and the US, and "reservations" by Mexico.

Back in February 2013, Inner City Press managed to ask French ambassador Gerard Araud about it, as the final question in a Q&A stakeout on another topic. He said the UN shouldn't be used for electoral politics back home, even as French president Francois Hollande did just that. Now the argument was that the election Araud alluded to meant the resolution should have been withdrawn. But it was not.

Argentina also spoke afterward, to say that the Special Committee on Decolonization is the right forum for this; Indonesia said this should not be a precedent for other territories that were once on the list of non self governing territories. They all saw it through the lens of their own interests, with Malvinas / Falkland Islands, West Papua or Puerto Rico.

France was described as a "brain" behind the Syria resolution that garnered only 107 votes on May 15, down from 133 previously. So these are losses for France, whose Francois Hollande is not doing so well at home either.

France's impact on the UN through putting Herve Ladsous atop UN Peacekeeping is another loss -- for all concerned. Watch this site.

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