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Symposium on issues confronting the world trading system

World Trade Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

The World Trade Organization was the venue of a symposium on critical issues confronting the world trading system on 6 and 7 July 2001. Representatives from governments, non-governmental organizations, the media and members of the academic community were invited to participate.

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The Symposium Ś Aim and Structure

The aim of the two-day symposium on the state of the world trading system was to provide as much time as possible for both general and specific, issues-based discussion. An opening plenary on the morning of the first day of the symposium was followed by five separate work sessions, each with a moderator and several discussants. Specific subjects under each general heading were addressed by the discussants and ample time was allotted during each session for comments, questions and debate. The work sessions started in the afternoon of the first day of the symposium and continued the next morning. 

The closing plenary session was held on the afternoon of 7 July. At that time, the chairpersons of the five work sessions made oral summaries in a personal capacity of key points raised during their respective sessions. Reports providing a short and factual summary of all interventions made during each work session will be issued a few days after the symposium.

Special work sessions during the two-day symposium focused on trade in agriculture, food safety and sanitary and phytosanitary standards, intellectual property rights (the TRIPS Agreement), development and environment issues and trade in services (the GATS). A fifth working session addressed the relationship between the WTO and civil society. 

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