Dr Okonjo-Iweala and Ambassador Wills met with representatives of the Stop Funding Overfishing Coalition, made up of 175 NGOs, which had set up the ice installation titled “Stop the Fish Meltdown” to highlight their call for an end to harmful fishing subsidies.
When she was selected as Director-General by the General Council on 15 February Dr Okonjo-Iweala highlighted the importance of these negotiations, indicating that it is time for WTO members to identify appropriate landing zones and deliver an agreement for the benefit of global fish stocks as well as for the organization’s track record of forging new rules important to current and future generations. Ambassador Wills has said that members must not waste the ongoing momentum in the negotiations and should close the gaps in their respective positions soon.
The latest cluster of meetings for fisheries subsidies negotiations concluded on 19 February.
Based on the mandate from the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference and the UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 14.6, WTO members have been given the task of securing agreement on disciplines to eliminate subsidies for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, with special and differential treatment being an integral part of the negotiations.
More information on the fisheries subsidies negotiations is available here.