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Farm talks continue after latest 'modalities' text

28
May '08
WTO agriculture negotiations resumed on Monday 26 May 2008 with a new round of talks on the latest revised draft “modalities” circulated a week earlier.

In this meeting of the full membership, the talks' chairperson, Ambassador Crawford Falconer of New Zealand, said a smaller group of 37 delegations representing all coalitions and major players would continue to negotiate during the week as members try to narrow their differences further.

In the next meeting of the full membership, on Friday 3O May, they would decide whether to continue into the week of 2 June, he said.

This was an informal agriculture negotiations meeting of the full membership, officially an “Informal Open-Ended Special Session” of the Agriculture Committee.

The latest text and a number of related issues are explained here, including what “the text” is and says, and a “jargon buster”.

The chairperson refers to “Room E” meetings. These are talks among a group of 37 representative delegations, also part of the “multilateral process”. They normally take place in Room E at the WTO headquarters, but sometimes in another room (eg, Room D). Ultimately, the current phase of the negotiations is about “modalities”, explained here.

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