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Practical information


General Practical Information

The 2008 Public Forum team is looking forward to welcoming you to “Trading Into the Future” held at the WTO headquarters in Geneva — Centre William Rappard.

Learn more about the history of the WTO Building.

WTO's address:
Centre William Rappard
Rue de Lausanne 154
CH-1211 Geneva 21
Tel: +41 22 739 5111



The Geneva International Airport (GVA-Cointrin) is located approximately 5 km from Geneva Centre. Public transportation is easily accessible from the airport.

By taxi:
Taxis can be found directly outside the arrival hall. One-way fare to the WTO should be no more than CHF$40.

By train and bus: The Best Way...
Taking the train right from the airport to Geneva's main train station (Gare Cornavin) takes only 6mins. At the airport, follow the signs to the train platform. Tickets can be purchased at the desk located on the level above the platforms or at electronic booths by the tracks. A one-way second class fare costs CHF$3.

> Train schedule can be found here

Upon arrival at the train station, take Bus 1 in the direction of Jardin Botanique, which is also the WTO stop and the end of the line. This should take approximately 15mins. A ticket valid for one hour costs CH$3 and can be purchased at electronic dispensers at the bus stand. The WTO Building is located across the street from the Jardin Botanique stop. (Please note that your train ticket is valid on the bus within the hour of purchase).

> Bus schedule can be found here


Participation at the Forum is free of charge. Travel and accommodation costs are to be borne by participants. Please note that the WTO does not organise visa arrangements.


REGISTRATION: We urge you to ensure that all staff and panellists involved in your session are registered. The on-line registration will remain open until Monday 15 September. Please note that all participants and accompanying guests must be registered to ensure that a badge will be available upon their arrival at WTO headquarters.
The on-line registration has now been closed.

BADGES: These can be collected at any time throughout the Forum. Those planning to attend the Plenary Opening at 10:30 am on Wednesday 24 September are advised to collect their badge early, as strict security controls will be in place. (On this day, badge collection will be available from 7:30 am).

SECURITY: According to WTO security procedures, all participants must have a valid piece of ID (passport or identity card) in order to collect their badge. Badges will only be handed over upon exchange of a valid ID. The badge has to be carried visibly at all times while on WTO premises.
To avoid delay, we request that staff and speakers arrive at least one hour before their scheduled session.


GENERAL INFORMATION: Each session will be held on WTO premises and will be granted a strictly monitored two hour time slot. Please recall that sessions are permitted no more than four speakers and one moderator for a maximum of five panellists.

MEETING ROOMS: Parallel sessions will be operating throughout the length of the Public Forum following Registration and the Plenary Opening on 24 September. Simultaneous interpretation of all Forum sessions will be provided in the WTO's three official languages – English, French and Spanish – except for those convening in Room B where only two languages can be offered and Room A where no interpretation is available. The general location and total capacity of each meeting room is outlined below.












New Building

New Building

New Building

Ground Floor

Main Building

3 rd Floor

Main Building

3 rd Floor

Main Building

3 rd Floor

Main Building

Ground Floor

Main Building

Ground Floor

Main Building

Total Capacity










PRESENTATION FACILITIES: These sessions are designed to function as lively and interactive discussions and although we will accommodate PowerPoint presentations, we stress that these should be used only to highlight key points. We can, however, post a more detailed outline or PowerPoint text on the Forum website in advance of your session, if received in due time. Please send such documents as soon as they are available or no later than Tuesday 16 September to [email protected]. These will also help WTO interpreters prepare for your session.

THE ROLE OF THE MODERATOR: Please advise your moderator to structure the session as follows:

  • Introduce the session (5mins) – outline theme, topic and main discussion points.
  • Invite each speaker to present their case (maximum 10mins each). It is essential that speakers finish within the allotted time.
  • Invite questions/comments from the panellists in response to these statements.
  • Open the session to questions/comments from the audience.
  • Offer concluding remarks (5mins) – highlight key points that emerge during discussion. (Do not summarise the session).

NOTE: All sessions will be stopped at the end of the two hour time limit. Good timekeeping is necessary to facilitate a truly interactive discussion.
Moderators can encourage such discussion by commenting on the content of the presentations and posing follow-up questions to the audience. They should remind speakers from the floor to introduce themselves and to limit their statements to brief comments or questions. In sum, it is the moderator's role to make the session as balanced, lively and interactive as possible.


We kindly draw your attention to the following guidelines for the preparation of summaries of each individual session for the Publication of the 2008 WTO Public Forum:
CONTENT: We urge organizers of sessions to ensure that each report is organized in the following manner:

  • Title of Session
  • Author (name of organization or individual(s))
  • Abstract (2-3 paragraphs): Please provide a short abstract of the session including the main objective(s) of the session; the relevant questions that were addressed; and the main conclusions reached.
  • First Part: Summary of the main points raised by each panellist.
  • Second Part: Detailed Summary of the discussions that took place following the presentations.
  • Conclusion/Recommendations/Follow-up actions: Please state whether the objective(s) of the session were met, the conclusions reached and include recommendations and/or follow-up actions, to the extent possible, related to the role of the WTO within the context of the overall theme of the public forum and the specific subject matter(s) discussed.

FONT: Times New Roman
SIZE: 12
LENGTH: 8-12 pages (5000 – 8000 words)
DEADLINE: Please send your detailed summary in a word document at the latest by Friday 24 October 2008 to the following e-mail address: [email protected]

PERSONAL BELONGINGS: Please remind audience members not to leave any personal belongings in the meeting rooms at the end of the day. All rooms will be locked after closing hours.

FORUM RECEPTION: All Forum participants are kindly invited to a reception to be held in the CR Lobby on Wednesday 24 September from 6:15 pm to 8:15 pm.

PROGRAMME: An updated version of the Public Forum Programme is available on the Forum webpage.

E-FORUM: Please note that an E-Forum is expected to be operational during the course of next week to discuss the topics that have been raised and that will be addressed during the Forum in September.



As the second largest city in Switzerland, Geneva is home to people from all over the world. In fact, over 40 per cent of its population is international. Host to several inter-governmental organizations, Geneva always has a variety of talks, meetings and conferences happening throughout the year. Its picturesque landscape of the snow-capped Alps and the pristine lake also offers many an escape from daily routines. Although French is the predominant language spoken in Geneva, English is widely understood and most people speak at least one other language.


Getting around Geneva and travelling to nearby cities is quite easy as the city is efficiently serviced by buses, trolleybuses trams and trains. Buses and trains also offer regular service to neighbouring countries, France being the nearest. Public boat transport may also be taken to cities along the lakeshore, including Nyon, Yvoire, Thonon, Evian and Lausanne. Tickets are available from electronic dispensers located at each stop. Please inquire at the main train station (Gare Cornavin) ticketing kiosk for more details.

While buses and trams are more popular among locals, taxis are also available for travel within Geneva. Taxi stands are located at the airport, train station and several other points throughout the city. You can also call for one at Tel: 022 731 41 41.

NOTE: The WTO Building is conveniently serviced by three major bus routes. The following stops are located outside the main gates of the WTO:

Bus 1: Direction “Rive”

Useful Stops:

  • Navigation: supermarket Migros and Coop

  • Gare Cornavin: train station / transfer to other lines

  • Bel–Air: shopping centre

Bus 11: Direction “Bout-du-Monde”

Useful Stop:

  • Nations: United Nations “flag” gate / Place des Nations ('Broken Chair' monument)

Bus 28: Direction “Hôpital-La Tour”

Useful Stops:

  • Nations: United Nations “flag” gate / Place des Nations ('Broken Chair' monument)

  • Appia: Visitor's Entrance to the United Nations Building; Red Cross Museum

> For more information on how to get around in Geneva please click here.


Hotels in Geneva book quickly, so please make sure to arrange your accommodation in advance. Websites like and may be helpful. For more references, please check Hotels in walking distance to the WTO include Hotel Eden and Hotel Mon Repos. A little farther, but still within close proximity, is the luxurious Hotel President Wilson.


A variety of options are available for dining in or around the WTO:

The HEI cafeteria adjacent to the WTO has many lunch options at reasonable prices, ranging from CHF$10-15. For a quick bite, the WTO Café (Salle des Pas Perdus) located on the Ground Floor offers all sorts of beverages, sandwiches and salads in a more relaxed setting. Across the street from the WTO (next to the Jardin Botanique stop), there is a small supermarket which is also a popular destination for those interested in fresh sandwiches and salads at reasonable prices.

If you are looking for sit-down dining, a Chinese buffet is available at the Tsing Tao Restaurant (12 avenue de Secheron) around the corner from the small supermarket. The buffet costs approximately CHF$22 and lunch menus CHF$15. Restaurants at the Hotel Mon Repos (131-133 rue de Lausanne) and Hotel Eden (135 rue de Lausanne) offer Swiss/French/Italian eating. Like most restaurants in Geneva, a reasonably-priced lunch menu or "Plat du Jour" may be found here.

Close to the WTO with a scenic view of the lake, restaurant La Perle du Lac offers exquisite cuisine, if you are interested in splurging a bit! Be sure to call and reserve a table, especially if you plan to go as a group.

Address: 126 rue de Lausanne, Tel: +41(0)22 909 10 20, Fax: +41(0)22 909 10 30.


The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc, often written as CHF or SFr. While the Euro is accepted at most shops and businesses, it is better to exchange your money in advance so as to avoid paying a higher rate. Cash is the most popular method of transaction and locals tend to carry substantial amount on them.

NOTE: Many smaller stores and supermarkets do not accept credit cards and those that do may ask to see photo ID.

ATMs are conveniently dispersed throughout the city. The WTO Building has two UBS ATMs next to the Visitor's Entrance.



Geneva Tourism:
Bus Schedule:
Train Schedule:
Geneva Airport:


Photo gallery 2008:

> Photo gallery
> Slideshow: WTO Public Forum 2008


 2008 Public Forum

> Download pdf

> Order printed copy


 2007 Public Forum

> Download pdf

> Order printed copy

> WTO Public Forum 2007

contact us : World Trade Organization, rue de Lausanne 154, CH-1211 Geneva 21, Switzerland