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

 

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Myanmar: Stop ‘Widespread Violence’ Against Children, UN Officials Urge

Senior United Nations officials on Thursday strongly condemned the ongoing violence by Myanmar’s security forces against civilians, including children, as the members of the Security Council expressed alarm at the rapidly deteriorating situation in ... More>>

COVID-19 Origins Report Inconclusive: We Must ‘Leave No Stone Unturned’ – WHO Chief

The report from a team of international scientists assembled by the World Health Organization (WHO) to examine how COVID-19 first spread to humans was published on Tuesday, and was described by the UN health agency’s chief as a welcome start, ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


Department Of Global Communications: UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ Message For World Health Day 2021

5 APRIL 2021 As COVID-19 Reveals Immoral Inequities in Health System, Secretary-General Observance Message Calls for Applying Policies, Assigning Resources to Ensure Everyone Thrives Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World ... More>>


Global Development: Responding To COVID-19 Pandemic, Young People Advocate For Bold Solutions

From climate action to addressing inequalities and building peace, youth leaders scale up efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 7 to 8 April 2021 Follow on UN Web TV Youth leaders, activists and youth-led organizations around the world ... More>>

SDG Action Awards: Winners Announced

Mobilizing, inspiring, and connecting individuals around the globe to #TurnItAround for people and planet Bonn, Germany, 25 March - The 2020 SDG Action Awards Ceremony, which took place on 25 March as a part of the fifth SDG Global Festival of Action ... More>>