WTO members ‘fully’ agree on all issues, including fisheries subsidies: report

The objective of the Indian team at the WTO was to protect the interests of fishermen and farmers. The Indian delegation, led by Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, was continuously receiving advice and guidance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sources said.

12th WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva. Twitter/@wto

Geneva: After two nights of intense negotiations, members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are set to announce a package of measures, including a response to COVID-19 and measures to control fishing subsidies harmful, sources said on Friday.

After a hiatus of about nine years, WTO members have reached a pact — an agreement on fisheries subsidies.

The four-day talks that began on June 12 ended early Friday. It was in 2013, during the Bali Ministerial Conference of the WTO, that member countries signed the Trade Facilitation Agreement to promote the smooth movement of goods across global borders.

“All agreements have been fully agreed upon and signed unanimously. A decision on the temporary patent waiver (TRIPS) is expected soon. We are just awaiting US approval on this,” the officials said. sources.

An official announcement on all these matters should be announced soon.

One of the sources said that, for the first time, subsidies on overfishing, high seas fishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing have been addressed through the proposed pact.

“On the case of India, the sovereign views on EEZs (Exclusive Economic Zones) have been firmly established. It is truly a great achievement,” the source said, adding that key stakeholders who have benefited from these “historic decisions” taken by the 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO are fishers, farmers, food security, multilateralism, trade and business, in particular the digital economy and MSMEs.

It was also agreed to find a definitive solution to the question of maintaining the moratorium on the imposition of customs duties on the electronic transmission of goods by the next WTO Ministerial Conference or no later than March 2024.

One of the sources called this conference the most successful in the history of the WTO as it revitalized the organization.

“He restored multilateralism. India took a major leadership role and was the voice of the developing world and LDCs (Least Developed Countries). Developing countries were building consensus and bringing solutions to come out of each deadlock from time to time during different sessions and meetings,” they added.

A decision on all issues reflects the camaraderie between developed and developing member countries.

“Great team effort was put into agreeing on the issues. The concerns of the ACP region (African, Caribbean and Pacific countries) were fully taken into account in the decision on fisheries” , the sources said.

They added that the Indian delegation, led by Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, was continuously receiving advice and guidance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The aim of the Indian team was to protect the interests of fishermen and farmers.

These decisions also send a strong signal that the world can come together in critical areas like food security and humanitarian crises like the pandemic.

“The narrative has clearly turned heads and those who thought India was stonewalling finally awoke to the reality that it was India that helped set the agenda, brought cohesion, covered a great variety of topics and became the solution provider to every critical question,” one of the sources said.

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