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Card showing details of the event " Fisheries Subsidies: Supporting Implementation"

The WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies will enter an intensive phase in autumn 2020 as negotiators try to reach an agreement by the end of the year, in keeping with the SDG Target 14.6 deadline. Experience has shown, most recently in the context of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, that the timely and flexible provision of technical assistance in support of the implementation of agreed rules is key to generating greater buy-in and raising comfort levels among signatories, particularly those with weaker resources. Signals of tangible support from bilateral and multilateral donors would help to build delegations’ confidence in assuming and phasing in new obligations.

This session held on 15 September 2020 pursued four objectives. First, it updated donors on the emerging package of obligations under the prospective agreement’s three key pillars. Second, it detailed the work underway at IISD on the range of technical assistance support needed for effective implementation. Third, a presentation from the World Bank was shared on possible sources of multilateral support for implementation of the agreement, helping participants to situate implementation efforts against the broader canvass of reforms in public expenditures and the promotion of sustainable fisheries and livelihoods in coastal communities. Fourth, the webinar updated donors on latest developments under the UNEP-UNCTAD-FAO Joint Plan of Action on SDG14.

During this webinar, participants brainstormed on the nature of the technical assistance that may need to be considered, alongside a set of complementary development assistance initiatives aimed at facilitating compliance with the agreement, and how best the provision of any support might communicated to potential recipients.

Agenda and Speakers

Opening remarks
Alice Tipping, Lead, Fisheries Subsidies, IISD
Andrew Staines, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative (Economic) to the United Nations agencies in Geneva
Isabel Jarrett, Manager, Ending Harmful Fisheries Subsidies Project, Pew Charitable Trusts

State of Play

What is the state of play in the fisheries subsidies’ negotiations? What is the likely shape of obligations emerging from the current negotiations?

Alice Tipping, Lead, Fisheries Subsidies, IISD

What technical assistance is currently provided and what might be needed to ensure effective implementation?

How well does the current range of technical assistance for fisheries and subsidy reform reflect the assistance that might be required under a new agreement? What gaps need to be addressed?

Christophe Bellmann, Associate, IISD

World Bank perspectives on support to the fisheries subsidies agreement

How is the World Bank considering its role in providing support for implementation of an agreement on fisheries subsidies? What lessons can be shared learned from the World Bank’s experience with public expenditure, social protection and trade adjustment support?

Miguel Angel Jorge, Senior Fisheries Specialist, World Bank
Ugo Gentilini, Senior Social Protection Specialist, World Bank

How can UN agencies support implementation of the agreement?

Presentation of the UNEP-UNCTAD-FAO Joint Plan of Action on SDG14

David Vivas-Eugui, Legal Officer, UNCTAD
Anja von Moltke, Head, Trade, Policy and Planning Unit, UNEP
Marcio Castro de Souza, Senior Fishery Officer, FAO

Open Discussion: Next steps for consideration

Participants may wish to share views on some or all of the following questions:

1) Updates of internal thinking on how existing or new technical assistance initiatives might be adapted or developed to support the new agreement.
2) Identifying how bilateral and multilateral initiatives can best be harnessed to support fisheries subsidies reform
3) Agreeing on how best – and when - to communicate a potential menu of technical assistance support to potential recipients with a view to increasing comfort levels on newly-agreed subsidy disciplines
4) Determining the group’s interest in meeting again to deepen exchanges, discuss complementary technical assistance initiatives and plan next step

Practical information

Tuesday, September 15 | 13:00–15:00 CET

via Zoom