Triple Crisis blogger Martin Khor published the following opinion article for the Third World Network on the WTO’s April 29 meeting to decide whether to continue, suspend, or end the Doha trade talks, which are not likely to be complete before the 2011 deadline.
The differences among key countries in the World Trade Organisation’s Doha trade talks are so wide as to be unbridgeable in at least one major area, and the time has come to decide on what to do about the talks – to continue trying to get a deal this year, to admit failure and close the talks, or something in between.
This seems to be the message coming out of the 600-plus pages of a document issued by the WTO on 22 April, that contain reports on the state of play of the negotiations in nine issues, plus assessments by the Director General Pascal Lamy.
On 29 April, the WTO will meet to hear what delegations have to say about the reports and the latest crisis-like situation.
The failures in recent weeks to make progress have deepened the impasse. The inescapable conclusion is that these talks will not complete in 2011, the deadline set by political leaders.