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SUVA, Fiji Islands (May 15, 2002 - Oceania Flash)---Fiji's Foreign Minister Kaliopate Tavola told a UN seminar on decolonization hosted by Fiji Tuesday that while efforts by the UN to decolonize provided "real hope" for the "non self-governing" territories concerned, this was not a matter for "one size fits all.

Speaking at the opening of the United Nations Decolonization Committee meeting in Nadi, Tavola said the talks provided "real hope to the Pacific peoples."

The UN decolonization meeting, which was held last year in Havana, Cuba, regularly reviews conditions in the territories listed as "non self-governing" by the world body.

"Fiji acknowledges the commitment made by some administering states and the progress of the action programs in their respective territories," Tavola said.

"As a result of these commitments, forward movements are obviously taking place. However, we appreciate that not 'one size fits all' is relevant in this task."

Tavola especially mentioned the neighboring French territory of New Caledonia, reiterating Fiji's "continuing interest in the progress thus far achieved for the Kanak people in New Caledonia under the Matignon and Nouméa Accords."

The Matignon accords were signed in 1988 between pro and anti-independence leaders, FLNKS (Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front) Kanak leader Jean-Marie Tjibaou and RPCR (Rally for New Caledonia within the French Republic) leader Jacques Lafleur.

At the time, it ended years of civil unrest in the French territory.

In 1989, charismatic Tjibaou was murdered by a hard-liner within his own ranks.

In 1998, another pact, the Nouméa Accord, was signed between FLNKS leader Roch Wamytan, Lafleur and then French Prime minister Lionel Jospin.

It stressed such concepts as "common destiny" for all peoples of New Caledonia, power sharing among leaders of all ethnic groups and the specificity of the Kanak people as the original occupants of those islands.

"We commend especially the fact that a climate of peace and amicable cooperation has reigned during this political process", Tavola said, acknowledging that "already, the Kanak leadership has been able to participate meaningfully in their own right in various regional initiatives including, for the first time, as host of the South Pacific Festival of Arts, Chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and host of the MSG Summit."

New Caledonia representatives, including its territorial vice president, Kanak woman leader Déwé Gorodé, and representatives from the FLNKS are also attending the UN seminar, which is scheduled to end on Thursday.

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