Madam Chair and delegates:
We want to thank the United States delegation for the presentation of this discussion paper, which very much puts together the most relevant elements of this issue.
Ecuador has been a Cooperating Non Member for many years.
Ecuador has been asking to be a full Member for several years and we have not received an adequate answer.
WCPFC was the first RFMO established after the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA) entered into force. The UNFSA states that RFMOs shall not discriminate against any state or group of states having a real interest in the fisheries concerned.
After several years of asking to be invited to become a Member of the Commission without any concrete answer makes us feel discriminated.
As a comparison, after IATTC adopted the new Convention in year 2003 (The Antigua Convention) several countries, like China, Canada, Belize and Kiribati became full Members of this RFMO very easily, without any impediment.
We understand this organization might be unique, but not even wanting to talk about it is against all principles of international law and against the WCPFC Convention itself.
It is clear for us that the invitation for full memberships would not mean any automatic entitlement for allocation of any new fishing rights. In the case of Ecuador, we have no rights to fish in the high seas, we only have several purse-seine vessels that fish exclusively in the SIDS EEZ´s under the VDS scheme.
Dear Delegates, we ask you and encourage you to set up a framework and conditions for inviting new Members, and specifically we encourage you to invite Ecuador to become full Member if not now, in the near future.
Rafael E. Trujillo