WTO Speeds Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations Ahead Of End Of The Month Ministerial Conference



Santiago Wills | Merco Press

The World Trade Organization chair of the fisheries subsidies negotiations, Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia, introduced a second revision of the draft negotiating text to be used as the basis for clause-by-clause discussions among members aimed at resolving remaining differences ahead of the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) to be held on 30 November to 3 December.

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the text represents a good balance that addresses development issues and maintains ambition.

“The revisions I am putting forward are based on all our latest collective work, with all proposals, textual suggestions and discussions informing my thinking” ambassador Wills said.

“The members’ call for me to produce this kind of a revision was to put us in as good a position as possible for the clause-by-clause discussion, such that we can have a very focused discussion during the short time left before MC12.”

The revised text seeks to go in the direction of India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, among other countries that want to be exempt from disciplinary actions on subsidies. The text now excludes poorer, resource-poor countries, or subsistence fishing and activity-related activities within 12 nautical miles of the coast.

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