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Pacific Fisheries Ministers: separate ‘fisheries’ from EU EPA

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Tuesday, 08 July 2014

Pacific Fisheries Ministers: separate ‘fisheries’ from EU EPA

Pacific Fisheries Minister meeting in Tokelau this week have agreed to explore the possibility of separating fisheries issues from the current Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations with the European Union (EU).
And they’ve gone a step further – to seek an EPA without the fisheries chapter, revealed the Outcome Statement released this afternoon.
The statement said the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and Fisheries officials, and where appropriate Ministers, ‘need to fully engage in any discussions on fisheries issues with the EU.’
They maintained their strong position that ‘there should be no compromise on the red-line fisheries issues.’
The key contentious issues for Pacific ACP countries are ‘the issue of development cooperation provisions, export taxes, infant industry, standstill clause, the Most-Favoured Nation provisions, the non-execution clause, taxation and governance issues, market access and rules of origin for fisheries products.’
Fisheries Ministers have maintained these issues are not negotiable.
“At the April 2014, PACP Trade and Fisheries Meeting, ministers maintained their position on the 11 red line issues, especially aspects dealing with conservation and management because they affect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the PACP region in determining the future management of their tuna resources, said the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) briefing paper on fisheries obtained by PACNEWS.

Source: pina.com