Norway supports WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism

Donation of NOK 9 million announced in Geneva

fishing boat

Photo: Paul Kleiven / NTB
A fishing boat is seen off the coast of Norway.

Marit Fosse

In line with Norwegian fishing traditions, Norway donates NOK 9 million to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Fisheries Funding Mechanism.

The donation was made public in Geneva on Nov. 18 by the Norwegian World Trade Organisation Ambassador Petter Ølber, who declared, “Norway has a long history of fisheries development and management assistance and provides support to the FAO and other United Nations 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.”

He elaborated: “Fish plays a significant role in human nutrition and food security. The Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, adopted last year, delivers on the mandate in the United Nations 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.”

The WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala warmly acknowledged the gesture: “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.”

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. 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. Consequently, 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.

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Marit Fosse

Marit Fosse trained as an economist from Norwegian school of Economics and Business Administration in Bergen (Norges Handelshøyskole NHH) and then earned a doctorate in social sciences. She is the author of several books. Nansen: Explorer and Humanitarian, co-authored with John Fox, was translated into Russian/Armenian/French. In addition, Fosse is the editor of International Diplomat/Diva International in Geneva, a magazine set up 20 years ago for diplomats and persons working in the international organizations in Geneva but also elsewhere. In her free time, Fosse is an accomplished painter.