The government of Iceland has contributed CHF 500,000 (EUR 517,72 /USD 542,65) to the WTO's Fisheries Financing Mechanism. The purpose of the donation is to assist developing members and less developed countries in implementing the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies.
"Iceland is a global leader in sustainable fishing, and we have a long history of helping countries that need to develop sustainable fisheries management capabilities," explained Martin Eyjólfsson, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iceland. "We look forward to working closely with the Fund to ensure timely ratification and successful implementation of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies."
These words were presented publicly to the Director-General of the WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Okonjo-Iweala expressed her gratitude for the gesture and emphasized Iceland's continued support for the implementation of the Agreement. She also took the opportunity to underline the importance of collective action to preserve the oceans and promote responsible fishing practices worldwide, congratulating Iceland for its leadership in this effort.
One of the novelties presented by the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies is the changes and improvements in the legislative and administrative frameworks of WTO members, as well as in their fisheries management policies. Among these changes, Article 7 of the Agreement establishes a financing mechanism that will provide specific technical assistance and capacity building. Its objective is to assist developing countries and less developed member states in implementing the agreement. Therefore, Iceland is one of the first countries to initiate this type of collaboration.
Furthermore, the WTO clarified that the fund's administration is carried out by them. They collaborate with associated organizations such as the FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Bank Group. The reason is that these organizations contribute relevant specialized knowledge.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) stands as the singular global international organization responsible for regulating trade rules among nations. Most of the world's trading nations have actively negotiated, signed, and ratified the WTO agreements, forming the foundation. For that reason, the primary purpose is to ease trade in the smoothest, most predictable, and unrestricted manner possible.
The Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies delivers on the mandate from the 11MC in Buenos Aires. Moreover, it aligns with SDG 14.6, a part of the 2030 Agenda adopted by UN members in 2015. This remarks the significant impact of the WTO's involvement in advancing the global fisheries subsidies agenda.