7 Aug 2009

NGO says Pacific Forum fails on climate change and trade

3:14 pm on 7 August 2009

Oxfam New Zealand says the concerns of Pacific Island countries are not reflected in the outcomes of the leaders' summit in Cairns.

Over the two key issues before the summit, the leaders agreed to immediately begin negotiations on a trade deal in goods and services, PACER - PLUS, and want developed countries to cut greenhouse gases by 50 percent by 2050.

But this comes against calls for a delay in the trade negotiations to allow the island countries to consult internally, while the small countries had called for far more substantial emission cuts.

The executive director of Oxfam New Zealand, Barry Coates, says the outcome is very disappointing given the opportunity the summit presented to forge a new relationship.

"One which is based on more of an approach of us being in this region together as equal partners, rather than Australia and New Zealand dictating the terms of engagement, and particularly the engagement on climate change has to be deeply disappointing to Pacific people."

Barry Coates of Oxfam.