WTO: 2008 NEWS ITEMS
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).
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Use these links to download audio files or to listen to what Ambassador Falconer said in the 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
(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
THE STORY SO FAR
Agriculture negotiations launched (March).
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)
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