11 Dec 2014

Pacific civil society wants PACER-Plus talks suspended

7:08 pm on 11 December 2014

Pacific civil society organisations are calling for the immediate suspension of the regional trade negotiations known as PACER-Plus and the release of negotiating information being kept secret.

The groups, including the Pacific Network on Globalisation, or PANG, have issued a letter raising concerns at the direction, content, pace and process for consultation toward the proposed trade agreement.

This comes as officials gather in Nadi for the Pacific Islands Forum's Fourth Non-State Actors dialogue on the PACER-Plus proposal.

A campaigner for PANG, Adam Wolfenden, says there needs to be a discussion between civil society groups as to whether there is a mandate for Pacific governments to keep negotiating the agreement.

He says the negotiating texts, currently being kept secret, must be released.

"This letter is an opportunity to put a new agenda out there and say that if you're serious about consultation, if you're serious about engaging civil society and having their input, the best way to do that is to release these texts so that we know what's on the table, we know what the dangers are."

PANG's Adam Wolfenden.