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

 


TPP: Brunei Sharia Law scandal and failed bilateral meetings

Brunei Sharia Law scandal and failed bilateral meetings haunt secret Trans-Pacific talks in Ottawa

July 2, 2014

“As trade officials begin yet another round of secret Trans-Pacific (TPP) trade talks in Ottawa on July 3, the United Nations and human rights groups ask why Australia and other countries continue to negotiate with Brunei as it introduces harsh Sharia laws which violate human rights,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) said today.

“The first phase of the new Brunei law imposes fines and jail terms for offences like pregnancy outside of marriage. Future phases will punish crimes such as alcohol consumption or theft with whipping and amputations, and the final phase will impose the death penalty, including by stoning, for adultery and sodomy. Australia should not be negotiating preferential trade access with governments which violate human rights,” said Dr Ranald.

“This is yet another obstacle in TPP talks between The US, Japan, Australia and nine other Pacific Rim countries which have dragged into their fifth year.

There is still no agreement to US demands for changes to domestic laws on access to medicines, copyright, food labelling and other issues which suit the interests of US corporations, but would prevent governments from regulating in the public interest. US corporations also want special rights for foreign investors to sue governments in international tribunals if domestic laws or policies can be claimed to ‘harm’ their investment,” said Dr Ranald.

“The two major players, the US and Japan, have still not agreed about the traditional trade issues of increased access to each other’s agricultural and vehicle markets, and have not made any market access offers to other governments. A procession of recent leaders’ visits to Washington, including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Chile have failed to resolve these deadlocks,” explained Dr Ranald.

“US community opposition to the TPP has prevented the Congress from even introducing the ‘fast track’ legislation which would remove the constitutional power of Congress to amend any TPP deal. The US cannot deliver on any deal until this legislation is passed. Neither major party wants the TPP to become an issue in the November Congressional elections. The new deadline appears to be the APEC Leaders’ meeting in November,” said Dr Ranald.

“Canadian civil society groups say the Ottawa talks, only announced last week, mark a new low point for transparency in the TPP negotiations. It is increasingly clear that the TPP is not in Australia’s interest. We call on the Abbott Government to reject unacceptable proposals and to release the text of the TPP for full public and parliamentary debate before any decision to endorse it is made by Cabinet”.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news