After hearing reports from the chairs of the Negotiating Groups on Agriculture, Non-Agricultural Market Access and Services, the Director-General reported to members that:
“We are continuing to make steady progress in terms of understanding the issues and each other's aspirations and limitations. This is critical if we are going to advance these negotiations. It is particularly encouraging that new ideas are being put forward in some areas in the form of various papers and proposals. Of course this doesn't diminish what we already have on the table in terms of texts, but it does provide some new and creative approaches that we can further explore.”
“There is a clear sense that members are moving into a solution-finding mode. The discussion is much more focused than it has been to date. But, while we are making progress, this does not yet mean we are converging. There remain many challenges to overcome before we can find solutions — but at least now we are looking for them.”
“As we move forward we also need to ensure that we are in a position to make progress on development issues, such as those issues which are of specific interest to least-developed countries, including cotton”
Discussions will continue in the various Negotiating Groups on specific Doha issues over the coming weeks. The Director-General will complement this process with his own consultations aimed at addressing the toughest political issues and seeing where trade-offs can be made between the different areas.