According to WTO director general Pascal Lamy, 2011 would provide a window of opportunity to conclude the Doha Round of trade talks, adding that a failure would weaken the multilateral trade organisation and might derail the global economic recovery.
"If we have to conclude Doha Round by the end of 2011, we need a political consensus six months before that because there are a lot of technical works to be done," Lamy said today at a special address organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
He added that world leaders at the recent G20 and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summits had shown political resolve to conclude the Doha Development Round.
"Leaders recognised the 2011 window of opportunity to achieve this goal. They provided a clear signal that they expect the Doha Round to be deliverable next year," Lamy said.
The Doha Round, launched in the Qatari capital in 2001, is aimed at boosting global trade with the reduction of trade barriers. The negatiations broke down in 2008 and remain stalled till date.
"If the Doha Development Round was to fail, it would be the first in the history of the GATT / WTO since 1948. It would weaken the only institution which governs the rules of world trade and has the ability to adjudicate in the event of disputes between countries," Lamy said.