UNEP: Regional Symposium on “Sustainability Criteria for Fisheries Subsidies: The Latin American Context” Guayaquil, Ecuador, 29-30 July 2009

UNEP is one of the most, if not the most, active organisations when it comes to provide information to negotiators, and to the general public, on the ongoing WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies.

I notice that in most of the events organised by UNEP environmental NGOs were being associated. This was the case of the above mentioned regional symposium were WWF co hosted the meeting.

The webpage of UNEP on this particular event includes links to the presentations given by the different speakers and to the symposium's report.

I found the presentation by Clarisse Morgan, from the WTO Secretariat, Rules Division, very interesting as it provides useful insights on the positions of the key players in the negotiation, not only in terms of groupings (e.g. the so called "Friends of Fish"), but also in terms of individual WTO Members (US, EU, Japan, Canada, Norway, etc).

I was also struck by one the paragraphs of the Symposium's report, i.e. paragraph 43, which I copy hereunder, on the issue of fishing in the high seas:

42. In discussing both the high seas issue and the need for effective sustainability criteria generally, several participants referred to the reality of “south-south” competition for fisheries resources and markets. Some of the most aggressively expanding distant water fleets today come from developing countries. Latin American fleets are generally not among the most expansionists. Several participants explicitly noted that meaningful sustainability criteria could be important in helping limit the distortions subsidies could introduce into major South South competitive relationships.
Clearly developing countries are playing an ever more important role in fisheries, including by the expansion of their distant water fleets.

Here is the link to UNEP's web page on the symposium:

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