6 May 2015

NGOs, media locked out of PACER-Plus talks

7:35 am on 6 May 2015

Non-government organisations and media have been told they are not allowed to attend talks of the proposed regional free trade agreement PACER-Plus.

Vanuatu market, Port Vila

Vanuatu market, Port Vila Photo: Moera Tuilaepa-Taylor

Representatives from Australia, New Zealand and 14 Pacific nations are meeting in Vanuatu this week for the next round of negotiations.

Almost 40 Pacific civil society organisations and trade unions groups have written letters expressing concern at the agreement.

A Pacific Network on Globalisation, or PANG, spokesperson, Adam Wolfenden, says he has travelled to Port Vila to call for suspension of the negotiations.

"PANG and other civil society organisations aren't actually allowed in the meetings. There's a private sector representative, but as far as the non profit, non government sector, no ones allowed in. One of the reasons why I am here is to try to talk to officials and try to present PANG's views and PANG's concerns about the trade agreement when I get the chance as well as meeting with local organisations and businesses here on the ground in Vila."

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