Fiji unable to reach desired outcome at WTO

April 18, 2024 6:45 am

[Source: Ministry of Trade, Co-operatives, SMEs and Communications/ Facebook]

Trade Minister Manoa Kamikamica informed the parliament that despite their best efforts to call for sustainable fishing practices at the recent World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference, they were unable to reach an outcome.

Fiji among other Pacific Island countries lobbied for a comprehensive agreement to end unjust subsidies fuelling illegal fishing.

A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization states that more than 35 percent of the fish stocks are exploited beyond sustainable levels.

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The trade minister says the Pacific delegation had a strong voice at the MC13.

“Despite all the hard efforts of the pacific and Fiji unfortunately MC13 was not able to conclude an outcome on a comprehensive agreement on fisheries.”

Kamikamica further explains why a decision was not reached.

“Since the WTO is a consensus-based organization it is require that all 165 members must agree and even one dissention means an outcome can not be reached. while the WTO member was not able to conclude a second wave the efforts of Fiji and the pacific have not been lost.”

Kamikamica says Australia, New Zealand and Fiji will instigate a regional and multilateral initiative to form a coalition on overcapacity and overfishing. The Pacific holds two-thirds of the world’s tuna.