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SYDNEY, Australia (ABC News Online, Aug. 17) – The United Nations has been asked to help the indigenous population of French-ruled New Caledonia in the Pacific.

Senator Georges Manadue, who is at a UN conference in Brisbane, says his people do not want any more French companies "invading" their country.

The UN has said it cannot help the Kanaks unless it is invited.

Mick Dodson, who is the UN's Pacific community member on indigenous issues, says the forum cannot enforce human rights issues in member countries.

"I wish the UN did have the power to not only investigate and report but to actually enforce its findings when a member state is violating the rights of people who live within their territories," he said.

Speaking through an interpreter, Senator Manadue says his people will not give up their fight.

"We worked on the struggle a long time without the UN system," he said.

"Today we are allowed to call on the UN to come. If they don't come we'll continue our struggle for the freedom of our people."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Australian Broadcasting Corp.: www.abc.net.au/ra

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