26 Nov 2010

Pacific Pacer plus detractor says human rights discussion good first step

8:13 am on 26 November 2010

The Pacific Network on Globalisation or PANG says a United Nations-sponsored workshop on the impact of free trade agreements on human rights is a good step to ensuring they're protected.

Wednesday's meeting in Suva, which was hosted jointly by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, was attended by several government representatives as well as UN agencies, NGOs and other regional organisations.

PANG has said Pacer plus, the regional free trade deal still being negotiated, will not benefit Pacific Island countries but the campaign manager, Adam Wolfenden, says it'd be more attractive if it took human rights into account.

"We would like to see human rights impact assessments done on Pacer plus as well as other free trade agreements that are happening in the region but generally as a whole trade agreements should be subject to this level of scrutiny and I think if there's commitment for someone, says the Office of the Commissioner on Human Rights to undertake this then I think that's a good step forward."

PANG's campaign manager, Adam Wolfenden.