Commonwealth Blue Charter to be put on world trade stage

On Monday, the Commonwealth and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will join forces at the World Trade Organisation’s Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires. They will be co-hosting a side event on the fish trade, fisheries subsidies and Sustainable Development Goal 14 – to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

The event will be moderated by UN Special Envoy to the Oceans, Peter Thomson, who only last month met with Secretary-General Patricia Scotland at Marlborough House to discuss the delicate dependencies between climate, land, oceans and people.

At Monday’s event, the Commonwealth’s Deputy Secretary-General, Josephine Ojiambo, will reiterate the importance of the Commonwealth’s planned Blue Charter in her keynote. Also speaking are the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Mukhisa Kituyi, the Director-General of the WTO, Robert Azevedo and the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Assistant Director General, Julio Berdegue.

The Blue Charter will apply the 16 principles of the Commonwealth Charter to ocean governance. They include environmental protection, good governance, justice and peace, human rights and gender equality, and recognition of the needs of vulnerable nations and young people.

The main objective of the event will be to drive forward efforts to inform countries and stakeholders about key topics and international instruments applicable to ongoing discussions on fisheries subsidies, in order to propose solid and coherent multilateral outcomes

Through collaborative working relationship with development partners such as UNCTAD, the Commonwealth will continue to advance SDG 14 through a focus on the global value chain of fisheries and the implementation of oceans economy and trade strategies across countries.

The side event takes place on December 11, 1.30-3pm, at the Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel and Conference Centre.