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Resumption of WTO talks
The negotiations processes under the World Trade Organizations are now resumed, however only on an informal level or what has been called a soft resumption.
In his speech Mr. Lamy described the situation as follows: “Today we are somewhere between the quiet diplomacy of the last months and the fully-fledged negotiations which will only come when Members are ready to put numbers to the flexibilities they have already expressed in general terms on key issues, in particular on agriculture market access and domestic support. While I believe we are ready to start technical work at the level of experts, it would be, in my view, premature to move on to ministerial negotiations. What I am suggesting to you we do is prepare the ground for fully-fledged negotiations to take place when the conditions are right.”
The WTO Director-General encouraged the Chairs of the various Negotiation Groups to carry out contacts and consultations as they judge most appropriate, bearing in mind the different circumstances of the various Groups. This means that informal talks also have been resumed within the Working Party on Domestic Regulations, which is right now the WTO process with greatest relevance to alcohol policy.