WTO chief calls for 'urgency' in Doha negotiations

30th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

The head of the World Trade Organization on Tuesday urged member states to ramp up negotiations for a global trade liberalisation deal, warning that the "clock is not our friend."

Pointing to G20 leaders' recognition of 2011 as a "window of opportunity" to conclude the long-stalled Doha Round of negotiations, Pascal Lamy said the process "must now intensify in order to 'walk the talk'."

"If we are to deliver on this recent momentum we need a clear sense of urgency in the world programme in Geneva," he said.

Referring to draft negotiation texts, Lamy said there is a "collective sense emerging that revised texts in all areas of the negotiation will have to be developed so that they appear towards the end of the first quarter of 2011."

Launched 10 years ago in the Qatari capital, the Doha Round of negotiations have missed deadlines repeatedly.

The last major push for a deal was launched in July 2008, but that collapsed as developing and industrialised nations failed to agree on lowering tariffs on industrial goods and cutting subsidies on agricultural products.

© 2010 AFP

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