Pacific Islands Trade Agreement

Pac Trade Advisor says funding offer challenges Pacific sovereignty

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.

Pacific Leaders Meeting - Auckland, New Zealand September 2011

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.

PACER-Plus - Australia must support an Independent Trade Adviser and Pacific Island Sovereignty

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.

Human rights and trade in the Pacific: A paper on designing a Human Rights Impact Assessment for PACER-Plus

IWDA is working with researchers from La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne to undertake a collaborative and innovative desk-research project to identify the appropriateness and potential structure of a gendered Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) for the PACER-Plus trade agreement.

UPDATE: August 2010 - PACER-Plus - Call to Suspend Talks

Pacific civil society has called for the PACER-Plus talks to be suspended pending promised national consultations being undertaken; funding and adequate staffing for the office of the Chief Trade Advisor; an easing of the impacts and an evaluation of the of the global financial crisis; alternative trade options are examined; there is a guarantee to exclude comprehensive services and investment chapters; there is a delinking of the labour mobility program; adequate funding and training is provided for capacity building of local trade officials and key stakeholders; a human rights and gender