PRESS/918: TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
As the new Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies will involve adjustments to WTO members' legislative and administrative frameworks, transparency and notification requirements, and the enhancement of fisheries management policies and practices, Article 7 of the Agreement provides for the creation of a funding mechanism to provide targeted technical assistance and capacity building to help developing and least-developed country members with implementation.
Director-General Okonjo-Iweala said: "I am very grateful to Japan for making the first donation to the new Fisheries Fund. The Fund can now become fully operational, and is ready to staff up and start receiving applications for assistance from members once they have formally joined the Agreement. This donation sends a strong signal that developing and least-developed country members will receive the assistance they need to implement the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. Today's donation is yet another meaningful step toward safeguarding global fish stocks and restoring the ocean's health and the livelihoods of millions of people around the world who depend on fishing."
Ambassador Yamazaki said: "We are faced with two big issues. One is bringing the Agreement into force as soon as possible. The other one is, under the new Chair, accelerating the second wave negotiation towards MC13. One of the key elements for this achievement is commitment from developing countries. At such a critical juncture, I am pleased Japan's contribution can be made today and hope this will serve as a thrust for further replenishment of the Fund."
The Fund is operated by the WTO with partner organizations, namely the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Bank Group, which bring to bear relevant expertise. Previously, in 2021, Japan contributed CHF 125,000 to a separate fund established in May 2019 at the request of least-developed members of the WTO to cover travel expenses of their officials to take part in fisheries subsidies negotiating meetings in Geneva.
More information on the Fund, which became operational on 8 November, is available here.
Including the most recent donation, Japan's total contribution to the various WTO trust funds from 2002 to 2023 is CHF 12.4 million.
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