No WTO Meetings This Year

Lamy decides not to call ministerial meeting.

World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy told heads of delegations on Friday that unless there were dramatic changes in the next 48 hours there would be no convening of ministers to finalize modalities by the end of the year. That was after Lamy completed several days of intensive consultations.

Lamy said, the latest Modalities written by the chairs of Agriculture and NAMA were generally well received and brought us closer to our objective. The Director-General said it was clear that some tough decisions needed to take place in the following days, if we are to get modalities done before the end of this year.

Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said, "Director-General Lamy rightly decided against holding a Ministerial meeting."

Harkin pointed out that many of the proposed compromises included in the texts were not satisfactory to U.S. concerns. He fears that any product of such a rushed process would have faced poor prospects for approval in the U.S. Congress.

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