Doha round talks between the G8 and the developing G5 nations ended with hopes that negotiations will be completed by the end of the year, South African President Thabo Mbeki said on Friday.
Mbeki released a list of key points in his weekly column, ANC Today, that were focused on the G8 meeting last week of leaders of industrial nations and inter-governmental organization in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The G8 had initially identified three issues on its agenda. These were energy security, infectious Diseases and education. However it dealt with other issues including trade, non-proliferation, the Middle East, Africa and counter-terrorism.
Members of the G8 had said they regretted that negotiations in Geneva from June 29 to July 1 as it â€œdid not close all the gapsâ€ between the World Trade Organization members, Mbeki noted.
Mbeki added that the G8 had called upon countries to commit to concerted leadership and action in order to reach a joint conclusion following a series of drawn out development rounds.
In order for an outcome to be reached, the World Trade Organization negotiations need to focus on global trade within developing countries, he said.
This suggested there were important areas of convergence between the developing and developed countries with regard to the struggle against poverty and underdevelopment, he added.
Mbeki mentioned that apart from the G8 and G5 leaders, those present at the outreach session of the summit were the current chairperson of the African Union (AU), President Sassou-Nguessou of the Republic of Congo, and the chairperson of the Commonwealth of Independent (former Soviet) States, President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan.
Also in attendance were the United Nations secretary general, the director general of the World Trade Organization, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the President of the World Bank, the acting director general of the World Health Organization, the director general of UNESCO and the Head of the International Energy Agency.