I agree with many of the reports that states that no great things were accomplished in this meeting, a no-surprises ‘housekeeping’ exercise is the descriptive remark.
Many smiles, nice speeches and it could be said an openness to dialogue (flexibility on the negotiations is not on the table). So the negotiations will have to see significant progress over the next few months, in fact March is spoken as the date to show progresses. Since the Ministers agreed that the round should reach conclusions, and things were set for it we should keep monitoring the development of these issues and the upcoming agreements.
The goal of stopping the Negotiations for a 5 year period was not achieve, but by delaying the processes the results are somewhat satisfactory. The question is, if the negotiations did not reach a forward point into concluding the DOHA round, exactly what was discuss among the Ministers and inside the particular meetings?
The meeting had proven that two of the ‘pillars’ of the WTO – implementation and dispute settlement – are working fine, the Minister of Chile said “they are alive and well,” even if the third pillar, the negotiations, is struggling a bit. It seems indeed that closed doors meetings or “bilateral talks” were much more than expected and the field of work for this Conference.
One of the many nice speeches was given by Jonas Gahr Støre, Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Here is the link to hear the speech:
Something interesting was that seemed obvious that the Minister knew that this round and the WTO negotiations have a direct impact on the Climate Issues. But nothing was done or discuss towards that aspect. Leaving everything to the Summit held in Copenhagen.