Pacific Parliamentarians Trained on WTO Negotiations

13 May 2011: The Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) convened a capacity building workshop for parliamentarians in Port Vila, Vanuatu, from 11-13 May 2011. The workshop focused on the multilateral trading system and negotiations underway in the WTO.

Participants from five Pacific Island Countries (PICs) heard from representatives of the WTO and other regional actors, including the Forum Fisheries Agency and the Pacific Institute of Public Policy.

According to PIFS, Pacific parliamentarians must be able to understand the implications of trade negotiations for their economies and for the Pacific region, in order to help "citizens to understand and cope with the complexities of globalization," encourage informed debate, and ensure implementation of agreements through domestic legislation.

Currently, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga are members of the WTO, and Vanuatu and Samoa are in the process of acceding. [PIFS Press Release]