World Trade Organisation (WTO) director general Pascal Lamy has bowed to sluggish progress in the Doha Development Round talks and admitted hopes for a 2008 deal will probably be dashed. 

He said in Geneva this afternoon (12 December) that unless positions of member countries "change dramatically" this weekend, he would not summon trade ministers to Geneva for a meeting before Christmas.

Lamy said he had not "detected the political drive" for a final push towards agreement.

He added that summoning a WTO second summit meeting this year "would be running an unacceptably high risk of failure which could damage not only the round but also the WTO system as a whole".