Agri Business

WTO fisheries subsidy: Negotiations can’t be concluded this year, says chair

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 15, 2020

More meetings being planned in new year

The year-end target to reach an agreement on elimination of harmful fisheries subsidies at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will not be met largely due to disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the chair of the negotiating committee Santiago Willis has officially stated.

Meetings were now being planned keeping in mind several “convening opportunities” in 2021, he said.

“It is now clear that we simply cannot make up the time we’ve lost to the Covid-19 pandemic and bring the negotiations to a successful outcome this year. However, the truth is we did make lot of progress this year. And for this, the credit goes to all WTO members for maintaining a high level of commitment and determination,” chair of the negotiations, Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia, said following a recent meeting on the issue.

Santiago said that members had mixed views on the timeline for 2020 in light of Covid-19 disruptions but all are determined to deliver a meaningful outcome. “Based on my consultations, all members are determined to bring this negotiation to the finish line,” the chair said.

‘Special treatment’

One of the reasons for the fisheries negotiations not reaching a conclusion this year is the lingering difference between members over special & differential treatment for developing countries. While India, South Africa and some others have been insisting on carve-outs for poorer nations to protect the subsidies of small fishers, there are others who want them to take on full commitments with longer timelines or technical support.

A new schedule for meetings in the new year is being finalised, with members keeping in mind several convening opportunities for ministers in 2021, the chair said.

WTO members are seeking to reach an agreement on prohibiting ‘harmful’ fisheries subsidies estimated at $1420.5 billion annually that lead to overfishing and depletion of fish stocks worldwide.

Published on December 15, 2020

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like