At a recent meeting in Geneva, the heads of World Trade Organization member delegations vowed to intensify negotiations on fisheries subsidies next year in an effort to meet the end-2019 target for an agreement as set out in a 2017 ministerial decision on fisheries subsidies. Members committed to shifting to full negotiating mode as of next month, as they highlighted the urgent deadline for an agreement as well as the importance of ensuring the sustainability of fisheries resources.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Target 14.6 calls for prohibiting certain forms of fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminating subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and refraining from introducing new such subsidies, by 2020. Target 14.6 also recognizes that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least-developed countries should be an integral part of the WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations.

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