Vila Times

Vanuatu territorial dispute with France may need UN ruling

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According to Sato Kilman, former Prime Minister of Vanuatu, a territorial dispute between Vanuatu and France regarding Matthew and Hunter islands may require a ruling from the United Nations.

Vanuatu and France are to have talks in Honiara next month about their long-running dispute over Matthew and Hunter islands. Both countries lay claim to the remote volcanic islands which lie to Vanuatu’s south, and the east of the French territory of New Caledonia.

Mr Kilman said new talks to try and settle the dispute are a good step, reports RNZ.

“There’s been technical advices and things that it (Matthew and Hunter islands) must belong to Vanuatu. But this is something that France has still disputed, and I think the only way to take that will be acceptable to all is that if we cannot reach a compromise with France, then obviously the next step would be a judicial decision on that.”

Sato Kilman said the UN would be the best jurisdiction in which to address the dispute.