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New Caledonia, the foreshortened form of Territory of New Caledonia and Dependencies (French: Nouvelle-Calédonie or Territoire des Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dependences; popular names: Kanaky, Le caillou), is a "sui generis collectivity" (in practice an overseas territory) of France, made up of a main island (Grande Terre) and several smaller islands. It is located in the region of Melanesia in the southwest Pacific. At about half the size of Taiwan, it has a land area of 18,575.5 square kilometres (7,172 sq mi). The population at the 2004 census was 230,789 inhabitants. It has an Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) of .nc. The capital and largest city of the territory is Nouméa. The currency is the CFP franc.
Since 1986 the United Nations Committee on Decolonization has included New Caledonia on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. New Caledonia will decide whether to remain within the French Republic or become an independent state in a referendum sometime after 2014.
Its capital Nouméa is the seat of the regional organization the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (formerly the South Pacific Commission).
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