Community Group lockout spotlights secrecy of Trans-Pacific trade talks in Auckland
“Over 20 international representatives of health, union, consumer and environment organisations have been locked out of the Trans-Pacific talks venue in Auckland,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.
"Many have travelled long distances at great expense, with no advance warning that they would be locked out for nine of the ten days of the negotiations.”
“This is an unprecedented increase in the level of secrecy for these negotiations,” added Dr Ranald.. "It is bad enough that negotiating documents are secret and not available for public discussion. But at previous talks we have at least been allowed access to the public areas of the venue so we could speak to negotiators informally between sessions and arrange appointments with them.”
“In Auckland we are only being allowed in for one day of formal presentations, and locked out for the other nine days. This is ironic for New Zealand, which has a reputation as a vibrant and open democracy.”