WTO Negotiations on Fisheries Subsidies Update: What's the state of play?
On May 11, 2021, the Chair of WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies, Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia, released the latest version of his draft consolidated text to guide the final phase of negotiations.
The draft consolidated text reflects the state of play in the three key substantive areas in which disciplines are negotiated: (1) subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, (2) subsidies to the fishing of overfished stocks, and (3) subsidies that contribute to overfishing and overcapacity.
To reach an agreement on fisheries subsidies, WTO members will need to answer several key questions that are highlighted in this update.
Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are currently negotiating new multilateral disciplines to tackle the harmful fisheries subsidies that undermine marine resources, as well as the livelihoods and food security of populations who depend on them. A WTO deal on this issue could constitute a major step in helping steer global fisheries in a more sustainable direction, but for this agreement to materialize, WTO Members need to intensify efforts to build consensus on several key issues.
With a view to supporting this process, this update provides an overview of the latest version of the draft consolidated text circulated by the Chair of WTO talks on fisheries subsidies, Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia, on May 11, 2021. It describes the main approaches taken in the draft consolidated text, highlights the key questions remaining for WTO Members' consideration, and indicates how the text suggests these questions could be answered. The brief has been designed to provide all interested stakeholders with a short, clear update on the state of play in WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations and to support WTO Members' engagement in the final phase of the negotiating process.
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