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WALLIS & FUTUNA MAKE BID FOR FORUM MEMBERSHIP Would follow New Caledonia, French Polynesia

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 30, 2008) – The Pacific Islands Forum may admit Wallis and Futuna as an associate member at its summit in Niue in August - two years after the French territory became a Forum observer.

The territory’s assembly and its two members of the French houses of parliament have made the bid for associate membership following the admission two years ago of New Caledonia and French Polynesia.

[PIR editor’s note: The neighboring islands of Wallis and Futuna, a French overseas territory, are located between Fiji and Samoa.]

A legal advisor of the Forum’s secretariat, Shennia Spillane, says officials will consider the approach in late July and submit their findings to the Forum leaders in August.

"They may decide that now is the time and go ahead with that. There is nothing stopping them from that. At the same time, given that they are a fairly new member of the Forum family. It might be that leaders decide it is a bit too soon and they want to wait a little bit longer and have things develop in Wallis and Futuna."


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