ACP Ministers encourage transparency, participation and accountability in fisheries
NASSAU – 18-21 September 2017. Ministers in charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) met for their 5th Meeting in the Bahamas to strategise on how to enhance the role of fisheries and aquaculture in their national socio-economic development.
More than 150 delegates from at least 60 fish-exporting countries and regions gathered for this meeting, which was opened by the Prime Minister of The Bahamas Dr. The Hon. Hubert A. Minnis.
The final declaration adopted by the meeting, the Ministers “encourage and support initiatives to strengthen governance through stakeholder participation, accountability, and transparency, to enhance the quality and credibility of decision making“.
The FiTI International Secretariat participated in this Minister meeting, as well as in the preceding ACP meeting of Senior Officials in charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture. All of FiTI current pilot countries, except Indonesia, are members of the ACP.
The FiTI International Secretariat also conducted a side event, which was very well attended by over 80 delegates. An FAO representative provided an input at this side-event, in which she outlined the role of the FAO in the FiTI and explained how the FiTI relates to some of the FAO’s key instruments, such as the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. A CAOPA representative also provided an excellent input on the importance of transparency and participation for small-scale fisheries, a sector which is particular relevant from many ACP Member States.
The meeting emphasised the need for further discussions on the applicability of multi-stakeholder partnerships for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). SIDS are particularly relevant for the FiTI, as they typically cover large ocean space, but often have very limited resources and even actual stakeholders.
The 6th ACP Meeting of Ministers in charge of Fisheries of Aquaculture will be held in Apia, Samoa in 2019.