Third Non-State Actors Dialogue on PACER Plus concludes

 

Auckland, 30 November 2013: The third Non-State Actors (NSAs) Dialogue on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus was held in Auckland this week.

Several representatives of Non-State Actors and Senior Forum Officials gathered for the discussions which considered updates and NSA perspectives on PACER Plus, and focused on ways to deepen consultation between the NSAs and national governments during the process of negotiating PACER Plus.

“We are pleased that the meeting was attended by so many key non state actors from throughout the region that actively engaged in discussions,” says Mr. Shiu Raj, the Director of the Economic Governance Programme at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. “Participants received a comprehensive update on the PACER Plus negotiations, including plans for further consultation with the private sector and civil society.”

A call was made for further regular updates on PACER Plus negotiations, and support for capacity building of private sector and civil society representatives to improve their understanding on core technical issues in PACER Plus negotiations.

To deepen NSAs’ engagement in PACER Plus negotiations, the NSA representatives also suggested that the national consultations on PACER Plus be coordinated with the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisation (PIANGO) and the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO).

“The NSAs that participated in the Dialogue were provided detailed update on each aspect of the PACER Plus negotiation to enable informed debate on development issues of importance to the Pacific region. The participants welcomed the opportunity to dialogue and provided positive feedback. We are pleased with our partnership with PIANGO and PIPSO as the peak regional bodies for civil society and private sector in the region.”

The negotiations have progressed significantly in the past 18 months and the ‘shape’ of the PACER Plus is emerging. The Sixth Meeting of Officials on PACER Plus concluded on 28 November 2013, with significant progress made in the negotiations. It is the ambition of Forum Officials to conclude negotiations on the PACER Plus legal text by 2014.

“Further to the roadmap for the PACER Plus negotiations adopted by the Forum Trade Ministers in July 2013, Members will expand the negotiations into new areas such as trade in services and investment, taking into accounts the discussions at the Dialogue. The next inter-sessional meeting will be held in end-March to early-April 2014.”

 

ends

 

Media enquiries and/or to arrange an interview: media@forumsec.org.fj

 

Background

The NSA Dialogues on PACER Plus are convened by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, in partnership with the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisation (PIANGO) and the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO). PIANGO and PIPSO are peak regional organisations, and their network in the region extends to national representation in all the Forum Island Countries.

The objective of the Third NSA Dialogue on PACER Plus was to consider updates on PACER Plus negotiations and NSA perspectives on PACER Plus, and focus on ways to deepen consultation between the NSAs and national governments in negotiating PACER Plus.

The Dialogue noted that PACER Plus seeks to develop a trade and development friendly agreement, in the interest of integration and conducive to creating jobs and prosperity in the FICs to enable sustainable development, particularly in the long term.

NSAs have requested for an increase in the funding levels to support NSA engagement in PACER Plus negotiations at the national and regional level.

More information on the Third NSA Dialogue on PACER Plus is available at http://forumsec.org/pages.cfm/economic-governance/regional-trade-1/third-nsa-dialogue-on-pacer-plus.html

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