Saturday, July 31, 2004

It’s a deal… I think

First you've got your head round G20 – the developing countries – and the G90 "group of developing and least developed countries (LDCs)". Then there is the NG5, which is the non-group of five countries – so-called because they have nothing in common except having nothing in common – which appears to be the same as the FIP (five interested parties).

Now you're almost ready to understand the WTO.

It seems the FIP (or NG5 if you prefer) have been running the show all week, except that the five suddenly became four when two of them decided that they were really running the show. So the one screamed about the two, joined by another one, with the G90 screaming like blue murder, and ditched the talks at the absolute eleventh hour.

However, it wasn't the eleventh hour after all because they all decided there were actually twenty five left, even though they said there wouldn’t be any more time.

Then is seems that the one pushed the two of the five into giving away more, helped by the other one of the five who led the G20 into agreeing, which meant that another 25 – who didn’t seem to have a "G" - got stuck into another ten, who also didn’t have a "G", and seemed to agree that they wanted to agree.

By this time everybody was so knackered and confused that they had forgotten what they were agreeing about, or disagreeing, and just wanted to go home, so they all decided to agree, except the G90 who hadn’t really understood what was happening anyway. But since no one was listening, the NG5 and the G20 and the 25 without a G all agreed that they had agreed something and they went off to catch their planes.

So there is a deal. God knows what it is, but the only certainty is some one, somewhere got screwed – and it wasn’t in a brothel. I suppose there might be some more detail in the papers tomorrow, but I’m not sure I want to read it.

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