Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) General Secretary Rev James Bhagwan has asked those in the Pacific to pray for Kanaky’s sovereignty and self-determination in his recent pastoral letter to member churches. Specifically, he called on churches in the Pacific to observe a day of prayer on 27 September for an honest, free and fair referendum in Kanaky (New Caledonia) and a second one on 4 October, the day of the referendum itself.

The referendum is based on the Nouméa Accord, signed in May 1998 by the French government, as part of a negotiated transition to independence. The agreement included ending New Caledonia’s status as a French overseas territory; electing new political institutions and transferring administrative powers; recognising Kanak culture and identity; and a further transition before a referendum on self-determination.

In seeking to contribute to making self-determination part of a new normal, Rev Bhagwan requested for them support in prayer Kanaky member churches, youths and other communities for the feasibility of building a multicultural nation outside the French constitution. During the 2018 PCC General Assembly, PCC had endorsed a statement of solidarity and call for prayer in the lead-up to the first referendum on independence from France for Kanaky.