For use of information media - Not an official record
UNCTAD Announces Voluntary Commitment At The Oceans Conference In New York

New York, United States of America, (06 June 2017)

​Today, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UN Environment) are announcing at the Oceans Conference in New York the joint voluntary commitment,‘Sustainable Trade in Fisheries - Assisting Member States to Implement Effective, Inclusive and Sustainable Policies’.

The new voluntary commitment will be announced by Mukhisa Kituyi (Secretary-General, UNCTAD), Erik Solheim (Executive Director, UN Environment) and Árni M. Mathiesen (Assistant Director-General, FAO) during UNCTAD’s joint side event,‘Fisheries subsidies: The path toward a sustainable global agreement’.

Sustainable Development Goal(SDG) 14 of the 2030 Agenda commits UN Member States “to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” Under this Goal, three targets explicitly focus on the trade-related aspects of fisheries: Target 14.4 (fight against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, fish stocks management and restoration), Target 14.6 (phasing out certain fisheries subsidies) and Target 14.B (access to markets and resources by small scale and artisanal fishermen).

Addressing harmful fisheries subsidies is not a stand-alone issue and a holistic approach is necessary in order to advance sustainability and development. In the context of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other relevant international instruments, UNCTAD, FAO and UN Environment stand ready to work with countries and donors to provide capacity building and technical assistance on fisheries, trade, environment and development. The convening power and expertise of the three agencies provide a unique differential in supporting countries to progress towards sustainable development, by incorporating more sustainable trade policies, and to deliver upon the aforementioned targets, particularly 14.6.

UNCTAD’s voluntary commitment is a follow-up to a joint statement by the three organizations made during the 14th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, titled “Regulating Fisheries Subsidies must be an integral part of the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda,” the three agencies made a commitment to support member states’ efforts to meet SDG Target 14.6.

By facilitating a comprehensive understanding of the trade-related aspects of SDG 14, the joint effort between UNCTAD, UN Environment and FAO aims to improve countries’ capacity to shift towards more resource efficient and sustainable pathways. Countries will be supported to better position themselves within relevant trade negotiations and to undertake internal policy and regulatory reform aligned with SDG 14 targets.

SDG 14 Targets covered:

• 14.6 (Type of commitment):
 - Removal or reduction of harmful fisheries subsidies
 - Information relating to harmful subsidies
• 14.4 (Type of commitment):
 - Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
 - Science-based fisheries management plans
 - Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
 - Reduction of fisheries by-catch and product waste/losses
 - Eco-labelling, traceability, certification programmes
 - Market-based instruments (e.g. Individually Traded Quotas, Vessel Day Schemes, limited fishing seasons and fishing practices, etc.)
 - Other: Activities to raise awareness of the comprehensive legal and policy framework for fisheries
• 14.b (Type of commitment):
 - Legal/policy/institutional measures
 - Access to market-based instruments
 - Transfer of fishing technology
 - Access and capacity building for eco-labelling and traceability systems
 - Community empowerment for fisheries management
 - Other: Activities to raise awareness of the comprehensive legal and policy framework for fisheries

David Vivas Eugui (UNCTAD), Legal Officer, , 00 41 22 917 56 42
Marcio Castro de Souza (FAO):
Anja Von Moltke (UNEP):

For more information, please contact:
UNCTAD Communications and Information Unit
T: +41 22 917 5828
T: +41 79 502 43 11

Please wait....