New Caledonia rejects independence from France

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News: French territory of New Caledonia voted against independence from France in a referendum held recently.The referendum was a part of a decolonisation plan agreed in 1998 known as the Noumea Accord.

Facts:

  • New Caledonia: It is an archipelago and special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean.
  • Significance: It has large deposits of nickel, a vital component in manufacturing electronics and is seen by France as a strategic political and economic asset in the region.
  • Autonomy: It enjoys a large degree of autonomy but depends heavily on France for matters like defence and education and still receives large subsidies from France.It is also one of the UN’s 17 “non-self governing territories” where the process of decolonisation has not been completed.