Norway has reaffirmed its commitment to global fisheries sustainability by contributing NOK 9 million (approximately CHF 730,500) to the WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism. This financial support is aimed at assisting developing and least-developed member countries in effectively implementing the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies.
Norway's WTO Ambassador, Petter Ølberg, presented this generous contribution to WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on November 17th. The Director-General commended Norway's dedication to achieving global marine sustainability and highlighted the significance of this donation for supporting developing and least-developed nations in managing their fisheries resources and complying with the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies.
Ambassador Ølberg emphasized the vital role of fish in human nutrition and food security, underscoring that the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, adopted last year, aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and represents the first WTO agreement focusing on environmental aspects. Targeted technical assistance and capacity building are essential for the successful implementation of this groundbreaking agreement.
Norway has a longstanding history of providing assistance in fisheries development and management, supporting various UN organizations, regional fisheries management organizations, and regional initiatives. This tradition continues with Norway's NOK 9 million donation to the WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism.
The Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies will come into effect upon acceptance of its legal instrument by two-thirds of WTO member countries. With nearly half of the necessary requirements already secured, the Agreement is making significant progress. Article 7 of the Agreement outlines the establishment of a voluntary funding mechanism to provide focused technical assistance and capacity building, enabling developing and least-developed member nations to meet their implementation goals. The fund is operated collaboratively by the WTO and partner organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Bank Group.
Norway's ongoing support to various WTO trust funds underscores its commitment to global sustainability and development, with total contributions amounting to CHF 44,578,000 from 2001 to 2023.