Ukraine formally deposited its instrument of acceptance for the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies on 17 August. Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General, received Ukraine’s instrument during her visit to Kyiv from the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy Yuliia Svyrydenko.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala said: “I’m extremely pleased to receive Ukraine’s formal acceptance of the WTO’s Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies in the face of such extraordinary challenges. This significant milestone underscores Ukraine’s steadfast commitment to multilateral cooperation and reinforces its resolute endorsement of the WTO’s mission for sustainability. I thank WTO members who have already accepted the Agreement and I urge others who have not to do so quickly, ensuring the effective implementation of this groundbreaking Agreement for the preservation of our oceans’ sustainability.”
“The ratification of the Agreement is an example of Ukraine’s responsibility towards ensuring people’s welfare not only in Ukraine, but in the whole world. We are honoured to be among the first members accepting the Agreement. I believe that this act will motivate the rest of the members towards submitting their instruments of acceptance. Uniting efforts is important for Ukraine in times of challenges. Our fisheries sector has been severely affected by Russia’s aggression. It is currently impossible for us to fish in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov,” said Deputy Prime Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko.
Adopted by consensus at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in 2022, the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies sets new binding, multilateral rules to curb harmful subsidies, which are a key factor in the widespread depletion of the world’s fish stocks. In addition, the Agreement recognizes the needs of developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) and establishes a Fund to provide technical assistance and capacity building to help them implement the obligations.
The Agreement prohibits support for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, bans support for fishing overfished stocks, and ends subsidies for fishing on the unregulated high seas. Members also agreed at MC12 to continue negotiations on outstanding issues, with a view to making recommendations by MC13 for additional provisions that would further enhance the disciplines of the Agreement.
The list of members that have submitted their acceptance of the Agreement is available here.
Information for members on how to accept the Protocol of Amendment is available here.