Over 20 delegations of developed and developing country members, some representing groups of members, took the floor at the meeting of the Negotiating Group on Rules in response to the request of the chair, Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia, for information on the work members have undertaken in bilateral and small group discussions.  

Members broadly expressed appreciation for the extended time to intensify discussions on key issues in the negotiations, including special and differential treatment for developing and least-developed country members, and expressed strong support for the process.

Many members noted that their exchanges have been constructive and indicated there was an openness on all sides to look for solutions, with delegations widely affirming their commitment to complete the negotiations by MC12 which will be held from 30 November to 3 December in Geneva, Switzerland.

“I continue to have a strong sense of optimism that we will conclude these negotiations, notwithstanding the differences that we still need to bridge. The next few weeks will not be easy as this is the time to bridge those differences. I will be continuing to reach out to different members in different configurations, to listen carefully and to prepare the ground as much as possible for MC12,” the Chair said.

Under the mandate from the previous Ministerial Conference, MC11, and the UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 14.6, negotiators have been given the task of securing agreement on disciplines to eliminate subsidies for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, with special and differential treatment being an integral part of the negotiations.




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