DG Okonjo-Iweala said: “I warmly welcome Haiti's formal acceptance of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. As a small island developing state and least-developed country, Haiti's support for this landmark agreement for ocean sustainability is highly commendable. I fervently hope the remaining WTO members emulate Haiti's example as we approach the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13).”

Ambassador Justin Viard said: “By ratifying the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, the Republic of Haiti is making its contribution to efforts to strengthen international cooperation in the management of ocean resources. These subsidies contribute to the depletion of fish stocks and the destruction of marine habitats. Investment will need to be redirected toward initiatives that support the conservation of marine resources and sustainable development. The world is impatient to take this essential step toward ensuring the long-term sustainability of our oceans and the food security of the millions of people around the world that depend on them. It is a complex challenge, but it is our duty to work together to respond to this challenge and ensure our own survival and that of future generations.”

Haiti's instrument of acceptance brings the total number of WTO members that have formally accepted the Agreement to 61. This is 55 per cent of what is needed for the Agreement to come into effect (two-thirds of the WTO membership).

Adopted by consensus at the WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), held in Geneva on 12-17 June 2022, the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies 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 and establishes a fund to provide technical assistance and capacity building to help them implement the obligations.

The Agreement prohibits support for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, bans support for fishing overfished stocks and ends subsidies 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, to be held in February 2024 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for additional provisions that would further enhance the disciplines of the Agreement.

The full text of the Agreement can be accessed here. The list of members that have deposited their instruments of acceptance is available here. Information for members on how to accept the Protocol of Amendment is available here.




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