One Minute to Midnight

Will WTO negotiations in July deliver a meaningful agreement?


Published: 4 July 2004

One week away from a crucial meeting of the General Council of
the World Trade Organisation, time is running out for the Doha
round. Almost a year after the ministerial conference in Cancun
and three years after the Doha round, negotiations have gone in
circles because of the continuing deadlock on key issues such
as agricultural reform. The July framework negotiations
represent a crucial juncture for rich and poor countries alike.
Any dilution of the Doha development objectives to
accommodate developed countries’ self-interested mercantilism
would damage the prospects of poor countries of the South. On
the other hand, a failure would further weaken the multilateral
trading system. Oxfam calls on WTO members to agree to a
meaningful, pro-development framework by the end of July 2004.