WTO hails 'historic' first global trade agreement
NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AFP) - Commerce ministers capped days of hard negotiations Saturday by approving a World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement on international commerce they hailed as a "historic" boost for the trade body.
The agreement still falls far short of the WTO's lofty but elusive vision of tearing down global trade barriers through its frustrating, 12-year-old Doha Round of talks.
But the accord reached on the Indonesian resort island of Bali nevertheless marks the first global agreement struck by the Geneva-based body since its 1995 founding.
"For the first time in our history, the WTO has truly delivered," an exhausted but relieved WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo told a closing ceremony.