World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Canada setting new global standard for TPP secrecy

Media Release
June 27, 2014

Canada setting new global standard for TPP secrecy

Ottawa – With an undisclosed location, hidden session schedules, and even key foreign negotiators kept out of the loop, the secrecy surrounding next week’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating round in Ottawa marks a new low point in transparency for an already secretive trade deal, says the Council of Canadians.

Despite being less than a week away from hosting hundreds of negotiators and other officials from the other 11 TPP member countries — which include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam — the Canadian government has kept a tight lid on any details about the Ottawa meeting.

“The Canadian government claims that ‘interested stakeholders have an opportunity to provide their views related to Canada’s interests in the TPP.’ The Canadian government claims that ‘interested stakeholders have an opportunity to provide their views related to Canada’s interests in the TPP’ but it won’t release even the most basic information to allow for stakeholder access to negotiators as has happened at previous rounds,” says Scott Harris, trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “We’re hearing from our partners overseas that even some negotiators have had a hard time getting basic information such as the meeting locations and the session schedule.”

This is the first time since joining the TPP negotiations in October, 2012 that Canada will host a high-level round of the talks aimed at finalizing the controversial deal. Initially scheduled for Vancouver, the venue was shifted without explanation to Ottawa late last week.

The only information that has been publicly released is a one-sentence notice posted June 24 on the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development website stating that “Negotiators, subject matter experts and other officials will meet in Ottawa, Canada, from July 3-12. No ministerial meeting is being scheduled on the margin of the officials meeting in Ottawa.”

New Zealand law professor Jane Kelsey has attended many of the rounds as a registered stakeholder, and, when that process ended without any explanation, as an observer. She describes Canada's secrecy as “unprecedented.”

“There can only be one reason for withholding the details: to shut down the remaining minimal access we have to negotiators, a number of whom are happy to meet with us,” Kelsey says. “When governments are so afraid of informed public debate, they clearly do not believe they can sell the merits of what they are negotiating.”

On June 20, a range of civil society organizations based in Canada and Quebec sent a letter to Canada’s Chief Negotiator Kirsten Hillman, Trade Minister Ed Fast, and other officials requesting details of the arrangements for stakeholder engagement and briefings based on previous TPP rounds, but have received no response.

“It’s an embarrassment that instead of following in the footsteps of other host countries and facilitating an exchange of information between Canadian experts and the negotiators, Canada is instead making participation in the talks all but impossible,” says Scott Harris. “Even by the standards of secrecy we’ve come to expect from the TPP, this is extreme.”

The public has had no access to draft TPP texts since negotiations were launched in 2008, but leaks of key negotiating documents have revealed troubling details about the scope of the far-reaching agreement that, if completed, would encompass 40 per cent of the world’s GDP and one-third of global trade.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news