29 Nov 2011

Calls for Vanuatu govt to allow protests against WTO accession

11:31 am on 29 November 2011

A number of international groups have called on the Vanuatu Government to respect the rights of ni-Vanuatu and allow protests against its recent decision of accession to the World Trade Organisation.

They've come out in support of NGOs, Churches, Chiefs and business people in Vanuatu who are calling for urgent dialogue with the government.

A letter sent by the Pacific Network on Globalisation and signed by a number of NGOs around the region, says accession to the WTO will commit Vanuatu to a set of rigid trade rules that will be hard to change or withdraw from if they do not meet sustainable developmental promises.

It says given the complex global situation and interlinked food, fuel, and finance crisis, it's crucial to ensure that trade negotiations are conducted openly.

The groups are calling on the government to postpone any decision regarding WTO accession until there has been full consultation with the people of Vanuatu and to respect the rights of public protest.