Ukraine Ratifies WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies
On Thursday, June 29, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) ratified the protocol to the agreement on fisheries subsidies. The decision was supported by 279 Ukrainian parliamentarians. The agreement aims to prevent subsidies that contribute to illegal fishing and overfishing, according to Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister of Economy and Trade Representative of Ukraine.
"This agreement is extremely important within the World Trade Organization (WTO) system because it is part of a broader agenda. The WTO stands at a crossroads, and the possibility of reaching global agreements that involve all member states signifies progress on other issues as well. The agreement on fisheries subsidies is also an important element in engaging and assisting the Global South. The WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism, established under this agreement, will primarily assist South countries," explained Taras Kachka.
In addition to supporting the Global South, this agreement is significant as it is the first WTO agreement aimed at achieving sustainable development goals for the environment. Its implementation will contribute to responsible use of water resources and improve the ecological state in fishing areas.
"Global trade is currently entering a period where the main barrier is enormous subsidies under the noble guise, mostly concerning environmental protection. Therefore, Ukraine's strategic task is to create the right system of financial support for businesses, primarily the industry. This is our internal task. At the international level, we will work on instruments that restrict excessive and harmful subsidies in other countries while allowing us to develop rapidly," stated Kachka.
It should be noted that after the Russian invasion, the export of food products, primarily grain, through the Black Sea was blocked. This jeopardized many countries in Africa and the Global South in general, which imported a significant portion of their food from Ukraine. Later, an agreement was reached between Russia and Ukraine, with the participation of Turkey and the United Nations, to create a grain corridor (Black Sea Grain Initiative). According to this agreement, Russia did not hinder the passage of vessels carrying grain along a designated route, provided that inspections were conducted from its side. However, Russia continues to impede the passage of grain vessels, prolonging inspections and imposing additional requirements on Ukraine.