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Agreement on fisheries subsidies trumps TRIPS waiver & Appellate Body impasse by D. Ravi Kanth April 14,2021   |  Source: TWN

Without addressing the existential crises stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Appellate Body impasse, the WTO director-general Ms Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the chair of the Doha Rules negotiating body seem to be working in tandem to steam-roll an imbalanced agreement on fisheries subsidies, said people familiar with the development.

In his aide-memoire sent to members on 30 March, the Rules chair, Ambassador Santiago Wills from Colombia, said that “soon after our last cluster (in March), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala assumed her role as Director-General.”

“As you know,” he wrote in the same e-mail, “the fisheries subsidies negotiations are high on her priority list.”

“She has also made it clear that we should reach an outcome as soon as possible,” Ambassador Wills said.

“And indeed, she (Ms Okonjo-Iweala) is ready to get straight to work, and I have met with her to brief her on both substantive and procedural issues, and she is reflecting on how best she can get involved,” Ambassador Wills said.

The chair recalled that “during our last HoD meeting, many of you welcomed the momentum her appointment would bring to these negotiations, and I understand that she has started meeting with many of you and that the fisheries subsidies negotiations

Theme(s): Post Harvest Technology and Trade.

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