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PRESS STATEMENT February 12, 1999


Senior quarantine officials from 15 Pacific countries and territories meet in Fiji next week as part of continuing efforts to harmonize quarantine standards and services within the region.

The meeting, run under the auspices of the Pacific Plant Protection Organization, will discuss how increased trade at the regional and international level will require effective and harmonized quarantine and plant protection measures. This will help the region better adapt to changing rules governing international trade, such as those endorsed by the World Trade Organization.

Participants will be updated on trends in quarantine laws; the importance of timely and open reporting of pest incidents; ways to improve the cross-border movement of people and goods; and how to improve the delivery of quarantine services. They will also learn more scientific pest risk analysis to facilitate trade and manage the associated risk of importing exotic plant pests and diseases.

The Sanitary and Phytosanitary Workshop in Nadi is jointly organized by the South Pacific Forum Secretariat and the Secretariat for the Pacific Community, and brings in trainers from the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service and the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The program includes familiarizing senior quarantine officials with global quarantine standards.

The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures are prepared by the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention as part of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's global program of policy and technical assistance in plant quarantine.

The Pacific Plant Protection Organization (PPPO) Secretariat is run by the Secretariat for the Pacific Community which is responsible for updating the region as new or improved standards are established.

Participants for the workshop are drawn from American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Forum Secretariat/Secretariat for the Pacific Community

NB: Venue is Tokatoka Hotel, Nadi, 15-19 February. Tel: (679) 720 222; Fax: 720 400

For further information during the meeting, contact Dr. Mick Lloyd and Dr. Jacqui Wright, SPC, or Dr. Roman Grynberg, Forum Secretariat.

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