SUNCITY

‘Ocean Resources Vital For Future Of Pacific People’

Fiji’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations and World Trade Organization, Namita Khatri, this week emphasised the importance of the sustainable management of ocean and its resources for the
27 Jun 2015 15:53
‘Ocean Resources Vital For Future Of Pacific People’
The Acting Permanent Secretary for Sugar Industry, Parmesh Chand (third from left), with the Fijian delegation at a fisheries subsidies panel organised by the Global Oceans Commission. Photo: DEPTFO News

Fiji’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations and World Trade Organization, Namita Khatri, this week emphasised the importance of the sustainable management of ocean and its resources for the future of Pacific people.

Ms Khatri was speaking during a panel on fisheries subsidies organised by the Global Oceans Commission and stressed the need for concrete specific action, not just at the WTO and at the UN, but equally at national and regional levels.

She highlighted the Fijian Constitutional provisions on the right to a clean and healthy environment and the concerted action by Fiji domestically through the launching of the Green Growth Framework, which includes an ecosystem approach to management of the oceans.

Ms Khatri also explained Fiji’s international approach through leadership roles in advocating for meaningful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal on Oceans at the UN, and as focal point of the ACP in fisheries subsidies negotiations at the WTO.

As focal point for the ACP on fisheries subsidies, Fiji advocates that improved disciplines on fisheries subsidies at the WTO must include targeted prohibitions on the most egregious forms of subsidies, and increased notification of all forms of fisheries subsidies to enable proper monitoring.

As respondent to the proposal by the Global Oceans Commission of a three-step approach on fisheries subsidies, Ms Khatri outlined what seemed to be possible within the current scope of negotiations at the WTO.

Speakers at the panel included the co-Chair of the Global Oceans Commission and former President of Costa Rica Jose-Maria Figueres, the Director of International Trade of UNCTAD and former Chair of the WTO Negotiating Group on Rules Ambassador Guillermo Valles as well as New Zealand Ambassador to the WTO John Adank.

They identified the need for urgent and concerted action on fisheries subsidies, and coordinated action also outside the trade framework and across international organisations including the United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and UNFCCC.

All the speakers appreciated the importance of the voice of Pacific Small Island Developing States in consideration of this issue.




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