ST LUCIA-TRADE-St. Lucia deposits instruments on fisheries subsidies to WTO.

GENEVA -- The World Trade Organization (WTO) said seven member countries, including St. Lucia, Monday deposited their instruments of acceptance of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies propelling the much-anticipated entry into force of the historic agreement for ocean sustainability closer to realization.

A WTO statement said that high-level officials of Albania, Australia, Botswana, Cuba, Cote d'Ivoire, the Republic of Korea, and St. Lucia presented their instruments of acceptance to Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in a ceremony as part of the two-day Senior Officials Meeting that ends here later on Tuesday.

'I take great pleasure in depositing, on behalf of St. Lucia, the instrument signifying its formal acceptance of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies adopted in June 2022 at MC12,' said St. Lucia's High Commissioner and Permanent Representative to the WTO, Anthony Severin.

'This Agreement is full of promise for greater sustainability of global fish stocks through the prohibition of harmful fish subsidies. As an island or ocean state, St. Lucia considers this to be in its best interest, and has decided to acknowledge this publicly through this formal act of depositing its Instrument of Ratification of the Agreement with the World Trade Organization,' he added.

The WTO said that the latest instruments of acceptance bring the total number of WTO members that have formally accepted the Agreement to 51, that is 46 per cent of what is needed for the Agreement to come into effect.

'Each formal acceptance of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies marks an important step towards its entry into force, which is so important for ocean health, for the livelihoods and food security of millions of people, and for the WTO,' said Okonjo-Iweala.

She said the ceremony, with instruments of acceptance from seven members cutting across a wide spectrum of geographical locations and development levels, represents a leap in the right direction.

She said with the latest acceptances, 'we are nearly half-way towards entry into force.


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