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TECHNICAL INFORMATION IN FOOD & FISHERIES POLICY & DEVELOPMENT

Latest News from MegaPesca FishFiles

June 2022 The 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO was held, against a backdrop of heightened global trade tensions and a food security crisis caused by Russian's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Trade Ministers of the 164-member organisation met for the first time after almost five years, the Conference having been postponed twice due to the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Members agreed on a significant multilateral Agreement to end harmful fisheries subsidies. This includes a strong prohibition of subsidies contributing to illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing with unprecedented transparency provisions. It also includes an absolute prohibition of subsidies for fishing on the unregulated high seas. This is a landmark prohibition for the most vulnerable areas lacking an established and coordinated fisheries management regime. And thirdly, the provision on overfished stocks will bring sustainability rules for subsidies regarding most vulnerable stocks in the first phase of the agreement. Members also agreed on specific next steps toward WTO reform, including restoring a fully functioning dispute settlement function for the organisation. European Commission Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, said: "Ultimately, this is about restoring trust and the political buy-in of all members, and upholding the rules-based multilateral trade system with a reformed WTO at its core."

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