GENEVA - Behind the scenes negotiating by major economies in Copenhagen to agree a climate accord may be a model for how to wrap up the Doha Round of trade talks, the head of the World Trade Organization said on Friday.
You don't get to a sort of overall agreement with 153 members without a number of behind the scenes bilateral testing and contacts, and of course, U.S., China, Brazil, India, EU, Japan, who are the sort of biggest players in international trade, have a special responsibility to move this forward, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy told Reuters Insider.
While the Doha deal would ultimately require the support of all 153 WTO members to be signed, the largest trading nations may first need to agree between them how to cut protective tariffs and subsidies, he said in an interview.
After what happened in Copenhagen, you can have a sort of geopolitical intuition of what the end game could look like, Lamy said, referring to an albeit unambitious climate deal that set no firm deadline for a legally binding treaty.
Ministers from around the world met in Geneva for a WTO meeting in early December at which they pledged to take the pulse of the eight-year-old Doha Round again early 2010, with the view to push it to a conclusion later that year.
Previous efforts to get a framework deal agreed between the United States, European Union, Brazil and India -- known as the G4 -- failed because the negotiators could not overcome their differences on sensitive issues such as cutting farm subsidies.
The climate agreement in Copenhagen was not formally adopted by all nations due to opposition by a handful of developing nations who said it ignored the real needs of the poor. The talks almost collapsed amid allegations by Sudan and Venezuela that host Denmark was biased toward the interests of the rich.
(Reporting by Reuters Insider; Writing by Laura MacInnis; Editing by Louise Ireland)