WTO member states are entering a week of "
" on subsidies that threaten the sustainability of fisheries in the hope of hammering out a deal at the ministerial meeting in four weeks.
The negotiations are at a very critical moment, as we are only four weeks away from our 12th ministerial conference,
” World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said Monday ahead of the opening. of this crucial week of negotiations.
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Representatives of nearly 200 environmental groups handed him a letter to WTO members on Monday calling on governments around the world to quickly reach a global agreement to eliminate harmful fisheries subsidies, estimated at up to at $54 billion a year.
For more than 20 years now, this highly sensitive issue for both rich and developing countries has been on the table of the World Trade Organization.
The WTO ministerial meeting, which was due to start at the end of November last year before the Omicron variant of Covid-19 made its appearance, was seen by the organization and diplomats as the time when these negotiations should be concluded.
It is now scheduled to start on June 12, four weeks from now.
The time has therefore come to put an end to decades of talks and conclude the WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies, so that the results can be adopted by ministers
,” said the chair of the negotiations, l Colombian ambassador Santiago Wills, in a video speech published in view of this "
week of fishing
" due to take place this week aim "
to close the outstanding issues in the draft agreement that was sent to ministers last November
", he explained.
The WTO and its Director General have made this issue a priority, but the outstanding issues are numerous and thorny.
These include, as Mr. Wills admits, "
the treatment of non-specific fuel subsidies, the balance and ambition related to the reduction of subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, including the treatment Special and Differentiated, Transparency Requirements in Forced Labour
States must also agree on "
how to ensure that WTO dispute settlement has no effect on overlapping land claims