The WTO’s negotiating group on rules concerning the fisheries subsidies negotiations held an online session in January with the participation of representatives from delegations to the WTO in Geneva and officials in their home countries.
Workers process tra fish for export
Addressing a meeting on January 22 as part of the session, Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai, head of the Vietnamese mission to the WTO, the UN, and other international organisations, appreciated efforts by the group’s chair, Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia, in promoting negotiations and introducing a draft revised consolidated text serving as the basis for talks on an agreement on fisheries subsidies.
She affirmed Vietnam’s commitment to actively promoting the talks on fisheries subsidies and consensus building so as to help attain progress in negotiations, helping to realise the Sustainable Development Goals.
During this session, WTO members discussed some important issues that need to be resolved to achieve an agreement on fisheries subsidies, including non-violation complaints. Others under consideration included criteria for identifying the catch level that is biologically sustainable and the exemption of some rules for manual fishing.
At the January 22 event, the chair of the negotiating group informed delegation heads about outcomes of meetings on fisheries subsidies, noting that members are aware of the urgency to conclude the talks.
Ambassadors and delegation heads also repeated this viewpoint, stressing the need to remove the protracted bottlenecks in the core factors in negotiations on fisheries subsidies. Many of them urged WTO members to issue an agreement as soon as possible this year.
On the basis of decisions made at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference and Target 14.6 in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, negotiators were assigned to secure an agreement on principles to eliminate subsidies for illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and to prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, and to devise regulations on special and differential treatment for developing and underdeveloped members of the WTO.
Vietnam’s active engagement in the WTO’s negotiations on fisheries subsidies also reflects the country’s commitment and sense of responsibility towards sustainable fisheries development and IUU fishing combat, thereby helping to preserve and sustainably use the seas and maritime resources for the sake of sustainable development./.VNA