French Overseas Territory New Caledonia to Hold Self Rule Referendum Next Year

  • New Caledonia, overseas territory of France located 750 miles east of Australia, is all set to hold a referendum on self rule in 2018 after its leaders held a marathon nine hours discussion with French officials. The upcoming election is part of a phased withdrawal of France from New Caledonia in accordance with the 20-year agreement between France and officials of New Caledonia in 1998 called the Nouméa Accord. New Caledonia is a prized possession of France as the island nation houses 25 per cent of the known nickel resources of the world. The Pacific archipelago found by the British explorer Captain James Cook in 1774 and it was turned into a penal colony by Napoleon III in 1853.