Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Pacific trade needs structural change, not NZ as WTO head

::For Immediate Release::
13/2/2013
Pacific trade needs structural change, not NZ as WTO head

As New Zealand Trade Minister, Tim Groser, travels through the Pacific seeking support for his bid to become Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Pacific Islands are urged to look to their own experiences and needs before offering any endorsement for any of the potential WTO contenders.

The Pacific Network on Globalisation's Campaigner, Adam Wolfenden, commented that “New Zealand has always maintained a very self-interested position at the WTO when it comes to trade and the Pacific Islands, thinking that they would be a friend of the Islands at the multilateral body would go against the history of their experiences”.

The actions of New Zealand towards the Pacific and their needs speaks for itself:
• New Zealand has been one of the most aggressive demandeurs in the Pacific Islands accessions to the WTO, often pushing for the greatest concessions against the interests of the Islands;
• New Zealand and Australia both threatened to cut funding for agriculture projects as part of Vanuatu's accession unless they would yield to their demands;
• When Fiji imposed a ban on Mutton Flaps citing the links to obesity New Zealand threatened to lodge a dispute against Fiji at the WTO;
• When Climate Change Minister, Tim Groser pulled New Zealand out of the next phase of the Kyoto Protocol, leaving New Zealand without any legally binding commitment to reducing greenhouse emissions.

University of Auckland based Professor Jane Kelsey added that "the last thing the WTO needs is an unreconstructed 'true believer' in the old failed model of trade and investment liberalisation as its new head. The WTO is still recovering from the period of the failed Seattle ministerial to 2003 when another New Zealander, Mike Moore, was at its head. Tim Groser is a much more savvy and driven version of Moore, who will talk about sensitivity to development and requiring the major powers to play by the rules - and resist any meaningful reform of the WTO that might even nudge it in the direction of a just global trading regime".



PANG and other members of civil society around the world have long asserted that the global trade framework must provide countries sufficient policy space to pursue a positive agenda for development and job-creation, and that trade rules must facilitate, rather than hinder, global efforts to ensure true food security, sustainable economic development, global access to health and medicines, and global financial stability. In order to achieve these goals, many current WTO policies must be fixed and many aspects of the 2001-launched Doha Round agenda must be changed; in addition, the basic principles and goals underlying the WTO must be overhauled.

“The contest for the Director-General of the WTO still fails to answer the key questions of legitimacy that face the WTO and the free trade ideology that it pursues, something that sits at sharp odds with the unique and dynamic realities faced by Pacific Island Countries” concluded Mr Wolfenden.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Terror in NZ: Mosques Attacked in Christchurch

• There have been two attacks at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque next to Hagley Park, and at the Linwood Masjid Mosque in the suburb of Linwood, Christchurch
• Police commissioner says 50 confirmed dead in Christchurch terrorist attacks. One man charged with murder appeared in court on Saturday, two more apprehended - working to understand their involvement
• PM Jacinda Ardern has described it as a "terrorist attack" by those holding extremist views. She says NZ's gun laws will change.
• The national security threat level has been increased from low to high.
• Commissioner Bush said there were explosive devices attached to one vehicle that were stopped by police and these have been made safe by Defence Force personnel.
More>>

For the Latest: Scoop Search - Christchurch

Parliament's Condolences: PM's Statement On Christchurch Mosques Terror Attack
Al salam Alaikum. Peace be upon you. And peace be upon all of us.
Mr Speaker the 15th of March will now forever be a day etched in our collective memories... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Government Shouldn't Run The Christchurch Massacre Inquiry
At Cabinet yesterday, the promised changes to our gun laws cleared their first hurdle. According to PM Jacinda Ardern, Cabinet agreed collectively “in principle” on a set of proposals to change New Zealand’s gun laws... Yesterday, Ardern also announced an inquiry into the background to the mosque attacks and into the role played by the SIS, GCSB, Police, Customs, and Immigration. More>>

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The School Climate Strike

Locally, the school strike has won a ton of support for bringing climate change to the fore. Yet the strikers don't want mere expressions of support. They want action. More>>

ALSO:

"Grabbed And Struck In The Face": Greens Co-Leader Attacked While Walking To Work

Green Party co-leader James Shaw was the victim of an unprovoked attack when he was walking to work in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

████████ ████ ███: Latest OIA Statistics Released

The latest statistics cover 110 agencies that collectively completed 18,106 official information requests between July and December 2018, a 16.4% increase on the 15,551 requests for the previous six months. More>>

ALSO:

'Hit And Run' Inquiry: New Legal Action Over Secrecy

The lawyer representing the Afghan villagers in the inquiry into Operation Burnham has launched legal proceedings calling for a judicial review in the investigation. More>>

ALSO:

From Hydro Plan To...: Mokihinui River Land To Join Kahurangi National Park

A total of 64,400 hectares of conservation land in the Mokihinui River catchment on the West Coast north of Westport, including 15 km of riverbed, is being added to Kahurangi National Park. “Adding this area, roughly half the size of Auckland City, to Kahurangi is the largest addition of land to an existing national park in New Zealand’s history,” Eugenie Sage said. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels