"I have to be frank with you: my assessment today is a sombre one. We are a long way from where we should be given the July deadline. In key areas we are, as yet, far from convergence on certain threshold issues.
This in turn inhibits progress on other issues," said John Adank, the Chairperson of agriculture negotiations in the WTO at an informal meeting on agriculture.
WTO Members have to thrash out a work programme by July 31 to conclude the Doha rounds as mandated by the members last November.
The informal meeting on agriculture had discussions on all three pillars of agriculture—domestic support, market access and export competition.

The "threshold" issues cited by the diplomat included safeguards, de minimis and blue box support, public stockholding for food security purposes, and cotton. Public stockholding discussions, however, also have a separate, dedicated track for discussion.
The Indian ambassador to the WTO, Anjali Prasad, said that special safeguard mechanisms that the G33 has proposed are critical to rebalancing elements of existing inequalities.
"Hence we see the special safeguard mechanism and the separate proposal on special products as critical outcomes of the Nairobi ministerial," said the Indian official.
Agriculture has been the most important difficult elements in concluding the Doha Round.


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