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Cancelled WTO talks give Pacific members time out

Kadavu Fiji boats
Photo: SPC

By Samisoni Pareti

For Pacific island members of the World Trade Organisation, the cancellation of the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference in late November due to the spread of the Omicron variant was God-sent.

Given the way the text of the proposed agreement on banning fishery subsidies was being pushed before the ministerial that was to be held at the WTO headquarters in Geneva from 30 November to 3 December, there was little enthusiasm on the parts of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu to sign on the dotted line.

The general consensus was that the text as it stands, was heavily slanted in favour of the rich . . .

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