The Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) and AFTINET have issued a joint media release on the Non-State Actors dialogue which took place in Brisbane on Monday 26th March. For a copy of the media release follow this link.
Pacific Islands Trade Agreement
23 March 2012:
The Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG), AFTINET and AID/WATCH have issued a joint media release critical of the key consultation on PACER-Plus which occurs once per year. For a copy of the media release follow this link.
On 26th March 2012 the Australian Government hosted the second Non-State Actors (NSA) meeting on PACER-Plus. This meeting is meant to be the premier consultative forum for NGOs and businesses interested in PACER-Plus.
The NSA was held before the Forum Island Trade Ministers Meeting, which took place on 27th and 28th March 2012 in Brisbane.
30 March 2012: Media coverage
Two short articles on March 30th 2012 on Radio New Zealand as a result of AFTINET joint media release with PANG issued on 28th March 2012.
Senator Lee Rhiannon asked some interesting questions of officials during Senate estimates on 16 February 2012 to try to clarify Australia’s position relative to negotiations underway between the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) and the European Union.
Senator RHIANNON: Is the government planning to seek a binding and compulsory most favoured nation commitment in the PACER Plus negotiations?
Updated September 1, 2011 10:26:54
The Pacific's Chief Trade Advisor, Chris Noonan, says Australia is still placing unacceptable conditions on funding for the Office he heads - an Office tasked with providing expert advice for the Pacific's negotiations with Australia and New Zealand for the proposed PACER Plus trade agreement.
Will Australia and New Zealand really allow sovereignty to Pacific Countries on Trade Decisions - media release 12th September 2011.
AFTINET and AID/WATCH released a joint media statement on 12th September calling on the Australian government to reflect on the outcomes of the Pacific Island Leaders meeting and honour the sovereignty of the Pacific Island Countries. For a copy of the media release follow this link.
Updated August 31, 2011 10:44:38
Australia's Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, rejects any suggestion that Canberra is throwing its weight around in negotiations for the new round of funding for the Office of the Chief Trade advisor.
Ongoing funding for an Independent Office of Chief Trade Advisor (OCTA) has been a contentious issue, particularly in 2011.
Australia and New Zealand agreed to fund the OCTA for three years from its commencement in 2010. The first year of funding was agreed to very quickly and operations commenced under the Chief Trade Advisor (CTA).
Problems occurred when the contracts were due for the second and subsequent years of funding in early 2011. New Zealand and Australia placed unacceptable conditions onto the funding and into the proposed contracts.
The recent Pacific Island Forum Trade Ministers Meeting, held in Tonga on 18th & 19th May 2011, failed to resolve the issue of funding for the Office of Chief Trade Advisor (OCTA). The issue was deferred until the Pacific Island Fourm Leaders Meeting in Auckland in September, timed for the Rugby World Cup.
The following links are to media coverage of the Pacific Trade Winds Consultation in Suva from 18th-20th November 2010.