Country Fast Facts:New Caledonia

































New Caledonia



























(CBS)

Europeans first sighted New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands in the late 18th century.



The British explorer James Cook sighted Grande Terre in 1774 and named it New Caledonia, Caledonia being the Latin name for Scotland.



During the same voyage he also named the islands to the north of New Caledonia the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu), after the islands north of Scotland.



Settled by both Britain and France during the first half of the 19th century, the island was made a French possession in 1853.



It served as a penal colony for four decades after 1864. Agitation for independence during the 1980s and early 1990s ended in the 1998 Noumea Accord, which over a period of 15 to 20 years will transfer an increasing amount of governing responsibility from France to New Caledonia.



The agreement also commits France to conduct as many as three referenda between 2013 and 2018, to decide whether New Caledonia should assume full sovereignty and independence.



Source: CIA World Fact Book
















  • CBSNews

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.