He was speaking at an informal meeting of the full membership after a month of consultations culminating in a session with 37 representative delegations in the WTO’s “Room D” on Friday 4 July. He has described his private consultations as “walks in the woods”, a reference to a 1982 episode in disarmament talks when US and Soviet negotiators used a trip outside Geneva to develop a possible agreement).

> Agriculture negotiations news
> More on the modalities phase

Need help on downloading?
> Find help here



Use these links to download audio files or to listen to what Ambassador Falconer said in the meeting.


This meeting

This was an informal agriculture negotiations meeting of the full membership, officially an “Informal Open-Ended Special Session” of the Agriculture Committee.

The latest text and a number of related issues are explained here, including what “the text” is and says, and a “jargon buster”.

The chairperson refers to “Room E” or “Room D” meetings. These are talks among a group of 37 representative delegations, also part of the “multilateral process”. They normally take place in Room E at the WTO headquarters, but sometimes in another room (eg, Room D). Ultimately, the current phase of the negotiations is about “modalities”, explained here.

Ambassador Falconer also mentions “APU”, a reference to a proposal from Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay on the Special Safeguard Mechanism for developing countries. Other alliances in the talks are listed here

(His opening comments refer to Spain’s Raphael Nadal winning the men’s singles tennis title at Wimbledon the previous day, and Spain winning the Euro 2008 football championship a week earlier.)


What is planned for the week of 21 July

At the Trade Negotiations Committee meeting on 27 June, Director-General Pascal Lamy outlined plans for a number of ministers to meet in Geneva in the week starting 21 July, on order to negotiate “horizontally” (ie, across a range of subjects) and to agree on “modalities”. Ambassadors Crawford Falconer and Don Stephenson, the chairs of the agriculture and non-agricultural market access (NAMA) negotiations, also reported on their consultations. Details: here



2000: Agriculture negotiations launched (March). See backgrounder

2001: Doha Development Agenda launched. Agriculture included (November)

2004: “Framework” agreed (August)

2005: Further agreements in Hong Kong Ministerial Conference (December)

2006: Draft modalities (June)

2007: Revised draft modalities (July)

2007–2008: Intensive negotiations with working documents (September-January)

2008: Revised draft modalities (February and May)

> Problems viewing this page?
Please contact [email protected] giving details of the operating system and web browser you are using.