The WTO opened its doors to the public for the second time on 19 September 2010, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Throughout the day, a variety of entertainments and educational and cultural activities were on offer.

World Trade Organization
rue de Lausanne 154
CH-1211 Geneva 21, Switzerland
 (facing the Botanical Gardens)

WTO Open Day 2009
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See also:
> Wikipedia page on the Centre William Rappard
> More on the WTO building: Centre William Rappard

Faces of the WTO

In this series of profiles, ten members of staff and the Director‑General describe their daily work and their vision of the Organization.  They also tell us about their origins and career path and give us their thoughts on international Geneva.

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Opening ceremony and welcoming address


With the participation of the WTO Director General, Pascal Lamy, Cantonal Councillor Isabel Rochat, Geneva Mayor Sandrine Salerno and the Chairman of the WTO General Council, Ambassador John Gero.

The debates

12 noon 1.30 p.m.

Debate on international Geneva


  • François Nordmann, President of the Diplomatic Club
  • Joelle Kuntz, writer and journalist for Le Temps
  • Xavier Contesse, Director of Avenir Suisse for French-speaking Switzerland
  • Ricardo Melendez, Director of the ICTSD

Moderator: Pierre Ruetschi, Editor-in-Chief of the Tribune de Genève

4 p.m. 5.30 p.m.

Debate on the first fifteen years of the WTO, what has been accomplished and what comes next


  • Caroline Dommen, QUNO (NGO)
  • Stuart Robinson, international trade expert
  • Said El Hachimi, WTO

Moderator: Denis Etienne, assistant editor of the Tribune de Genève


10.30 a.m. - 4 p.m

Film — “WTO: The First Fifteen Years”: This film will be played every 30 minutes continuously between the two debates, from 10.30 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Guided tours

Discover the WTO's cultural and historical heritage: Tours of the WTO building and its works of art will be organized throughout the day, and will include visits to the Director General's office and the library. Visitors may choose whether or not they wish to be guided if so, WTO staff will be available to accompany the groups. Two guided tours will be organized in English, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.


  • Exhibition on the history of the WTO and international Geneva

  • Exhibition on how international trade works: Where do your favourite jeans really come from? What does the “Made in …” label mean?

  • Exhibition on trade and the environment: What is the WTO's role in the protection of the environment? What is the relationship between trade and environmental protection?

  • Exhibition on trade in agriculture: How does trade in agricultural products work? What role does trade play in agriculture? What is the role of the WTO in health matters?

  • Exhibition on development and the least developed countries (LDCs): What does the WTO do for the LDCs? What is the role of trade for these poor developing countries?

  • The human face of the WTO: Portraits of WTO staff members. WTO Human Resources will explain how recruitment is done at the WTO and the different career possibilities available (economist, lawyer, interpreter, statistician, press officer, etc.).

  • The library will house an exhibition on the main historical agreements coupled with a display of old books.

Understanding the work of the interpreters

“Interpreter for the day”: WTO interpreters will be offering an insight into their profession. During a debate on the theme, “Do you speak Globish? The art of international communication”, members of the public will have the chance to try their own interpreting skills.

Travel health

The WTO Health Service will be focusing on travel health: vaccinations for missions throughout the world; prevention of mosquito transmitted diseases (including malaria, but also other diseases); jet lag and the biological clock, and what to do about it; and the various “tricks” for dealing with travel sickness.

Discover the art of Alex Flemming

The artist Alex Flemming will present one of his works entitled “Uniplanetarisches System in memoriam Galileo Galilei”, an installation representing a set of rotating globes. A video of this work can be seen on the artist's website .

Garden party on the lake front

World tour of culinary specialities: Throughout the day, an international buffet organized by WTO Member countries will be offering specialities from every corner of the world. The buffet will be located on the terrace overlooking the lake, and will include an ice cream stand and a bar.

Activities for children: A storyteller will be entertaining the children with a series of tales (afternoon only). Throughout the day, children will be able to participate in different creative workshops. A safe bouncy castle will be at their disposal.

A lottery will be organized during the open day, with many prizes to be won.

Entertainment in jazz mode- the Swing Solicitors: For over a decade, the Swing Solicitors have brought together musicians from the local and international community, molding together jazz, blues, rock and Latin influences. At the Open Day, the Swing Solicitors will perform a number of their original compositions.

Charity association J'aime ma Planète

This year, which has been declared the International Year of Biodiversity by the UN, proceeds from the open day, thanks to the International buffet, will go to the association “J'aime ma Planète”, whose mission is to raise awareness, educate, and act to protect our planet and promote sustainable development.

This year, which has been declared the International Year of Biodiversity by the UN, proceeds from the open day will go to the association “J'aime ma Planète”, whose mission is to raise awareness, educate, and act to protect our planet and promote sustainable development. All profits from the buffet will be donated to “J'aime ma Planète”.



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