In news– Switzerland became the first WTO member to formally submit its acceptance of the WTO’s new Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, paving the way for the historic agreement for ocean sustainability to enter into force.
What is the new Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies?
- The agreement was adopted by consensus at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) held in Geneva on 12-17 June 2022.
- The Agreement sets new binding, multilateral rules to curb harmful subsidies, which are a key factor in the widespread depletion of the world’s fish stocks.
- In addition, the Agreement recognizes the needs of developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) and establishes a Fund to provide technical assistance and capacity building to help them implement the Agreement.
- It prohibits subsidies to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and bans subsidies for fishing overfished stocks and for fishing on the unregulated high seas.
- Members also agreed at MC12 to continue negotiations on outstanding issues, with a view to making recommendations by MC13 for additional provisions that would further enhance the disciplines of the Agreement.
- Acceptances from two-thirds of WTO members are needed for the Agreement to come into effect.