Norway is contributing NOK 9 million (approximately CHF 730,500) to the WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism to assist developing members and least-developed members in implementing the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. Norway’s WTO Ambassador Petter Ølberg presented the contribution to WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on November 17,2023.
November 17, 2023
The Director-General said: “I welcome Norway’s generous donation to the Fisheries Funding Mechanism, which will enable it to better support developing and least-developed country members to manage their fisheries resources and implement the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. Norway has been an active supporter of the WTO’s work on fisheries subsidies, and of WTO technical assistance, and it is very heartening to see its continuing commitment to achieve global marine sustainability.”
“Fish plays a significant role in human nutrition and food security,” Ambassador Ølberg said. “The Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, adopted last year, delivers on the mandate in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and is the first WTO agreement to focus on the environment. Targeted technical assistance and capacity building is vital to achieve a successful implementation of the Agreement.”
“Norway has a long history of fisheries development and management assistance and provides support to the FAO and other UN organizations as well as to regional fisheries management organizations and other regional initiatives. Keeping up that tradition, I am today pleased to announce Norway’s donation of NOK 9 million to the WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism.”
The Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies will enter into force upon acceptance of its legal instrument by two-thirds of the membership. Nearly half of what is needed for the Agreement to come into effect is already in hand. Because the new Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies will involve adjustments and enhancements to WTO members’ legislative and administrative frameworks, their transparency and notification obligations, and their fisheries management policies and practices, Article 7 of the Agreement provides for the creation of a voluntary 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, Norway’s total contribution to the various WTO trust funds from 2001 to 2023 is CHF 44578000.
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