Media Release

Chief Trade Adviser Resigned

By Julia Tijaja

2 years, 7 months ago

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Dr Christopher Noonan, the first Chief Trade Adviser for the Pacific Forum Island Countries (FICs), has resigned from his position effective Monday 5 September 2011.

Dr Noonan has successfully led the Office of the Chief Trade Adviser (OCTA) in its first 18 months of operation. Dr Noonan assumed his post, and the Office started operation, in March 2010 from its base in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

In his resignation letter Dr Noonan wrote ‘working with Forum Island Countries on PACER Plus negotiations has been an honour.’

Among Dr Noonan’s key achievements was the establishment of the OCTA as an independent legal entity after the interim arrangement with the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat that the OCTA was initially operating under terminated on 28 March 2011. The Office is now fully operational with a team of dedicated staff.

Dr Noonan is one of the region’s most skilled and dedicated experts in trade negotiations. His departure is a big loss to the region and the Office. It is hoped and anticipated that he will continue working on the region’s trade issues, including PACER Plus, in other capacity.

The OCTA Governing Board has endorsed the advertisement for the Chief Trade Adviser position. A competitive recruitment process has now started.

Until a new Chief Trade Adviser is appointed, the OCTA Governing Board, through the Chair, will provide guidance and oversight to the OCTA, including on any necessary interim arrangements.

The OCTA Governing Board is constituted of the Forum Island Country (FIC) Lead Spokesperson on PACER Plus matters, the two alternate Spokespersons; currently the Ministers responsible for trade from Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Tonga respectively; and four representatives from other FICs; currently Senior Officials from Nauru, Palau, Samoa and Vanuatu. The Board is chaired by Hon. Peter Shanel Agovaka, Solomon Islands’ Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade and the FIC Lead Spokesperson on PACER Plus matters.

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Dr Julia Tijaja
Trade Policy Adviser
Office of the Chief Trade Adviser for Forum Island Countries
Independence Park, P.O. Box 561, Port Vila, Vanuatu
Tel: (678) 25003
Email: jtijaja [at] octapic [dot] org

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