Director-General Okonjo-Iweala said: “I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Netherlands for its contribution to the WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism. The Netherlands is a well-known leader in environmental policy and water management. Its support for the implementation of the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, through its contribution to the Fund, further underlines its commitment to sustainability. I look forward to further collaboration with the Netherlands and other WTO members to build a more resilient and sustainable future for our oceans and fisheries.”
Ambassador Bekkers said: “Disciplining harmful fisheries subsidies is an important element in our efforts to maintain healthy fish stocks. The fisheries subsidies agreement reached at the 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO is a significant step towards this. With the Netherlands’ contribution of EUR 1 million, we aim to support quick ratification and implementation of the agreement, and the rapid conclusion of a second comprehensive agreement.”
The presentation of Netherlands' donation coincides with the first anniversary of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, which was adopted at the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) on 17 June 2022.
Because the new Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies will involve adjustments and enhancements to WTO members' legislative and administrative frameworks, transparency and notification requirements, and 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.
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 and allow the WTO to leverage its own expertise.
More information on the fund, which became operational on 8 November, is available here.
Including the most recent donation, the Netherlands' total contribution to the various WTO trust funds from 2000 to 2023 is CHF 43,321,647.