SOTP - Political Transitions: Bougainville, New Caledonia and Fiji
This session presents perspectives on three major political transitions taking place in the Pacific over the next five years: the referenda on independence in Bougainville and New Caledonia and the reorganisation of Fiji’s political system. At stake here are some very significant issues: Is Bougainville’s referendum the end point or a turning point of the peace process? What are the long term prospects for France in the Pacific? Is Fiji navigating a fine line between ethnic conflict and national reconciliation, or is it developing new forms of autocracy? These issues are significant not only for the peoples of Bougainville, New Caledonia and Fiji, but also for the wider region, as the manner in which they are addressed is likely to have broader reverberations. These are difficult and politically charged questions, with deep implications for the organisation of the Pacific state system and the prospects for democracy and self-determination in the region.