“Leaders of the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh [which United States President Barack Obama will host] will have the opportunity to throw their weight behind a Doha development deal,” UN World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Pascal Lamy said, referring to the name of the current world trade negotiations which began in Doha, capital of Qatar, in 2001.“Leadership is about responsibility. Failure to act will be hard felt by the entire international community,” he told the Trade and Development Board of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.The talks have snagged over the formulas and other methods to be used to cut tariffs and agricultural subsidies, and a range of related provisions. Agreeing on modalities would determine the scale of reductions in tariffs on thousands of industrial and agricultural products and future levels of farm subsidies in the WTO’s member countries. Other issues include services.As he has for several years, Mr. Lamy said he was hopeful for a conclusion to the long-running Doha negotiations. But he added: “At last year’s session, I began my remarks by noting that I had hoped to report to you that we had successfully concluded negotiations on agriculture and industrial modalities to move on to the final phase of the Doha negotiations. Unfortunately, that was not the case.”There has been progress of late, he said, including a “successful gathering” of trade ministers in India at the beginning of September, he said. “What is outstanding in the Doha round is doable and a deal is within reach, but to get there, we still need a translation of the current global political support into tangible negotiating moves,” he added.Mr. Lamy said the global recession was being felt all over the world but had been most devastating in developing countries, which have the fewest resources for coping. He added that WTO efforts to free up additional financing for trade “oils” the process and steps had been taken to advance the massive Aid for Trade programme and to limit any trade protectionism put into effect by governments to cope with the impact of the crisis.Developing countries “cannot afford multi-billion dollar stimulus packages, and therefore are at the mercy of the global economic system for their recovery.”UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi said recent comments that a recovery, frequently referred to by the term “green shoots,” should be treated with caution. “While we are seeing green shoots at the moment, the issue of unemployment and trade contraction remains a serious concern” for developing countries, he warned.Over the past decade, trade has become an extremely important vehicle for economic growth for these nations, Mr. Supachai noted. Between 1995 and 2007, trade expanded to account for more than 50 per cent of developing countries’ domestic output.Then the crisis hit, and it “has been quite devastating – a deep and sudden contraction,” and one that was especially damaging for developing countries that had done what they were advised to do and had opened their economies effectively to international markets, he added. Recently there has been an upturn in exports for some of these countries, but “we cannot really be saying that we are now seeing a recovery.“Countries should not walk away from trade, but some rethinking seems to be necessary. One matter is how to reduce export dependencies by being more diversified, not only in terms of major products but in terms of new products and new areas, and this is why growing ‘South-South’ trade is so important.”South-South is the term used for rapidly growing exchanges of goods and services between developing nations. Possibilities worth exploring include environmental products, Mr. Supachai said. 16 September 2009A top United Nations trade official today called on the leaders of the G20 group of industrialized and developing countries at their summit meeting next week to ensure success of talks aimed at lowering trade barriers around the world.