Challenges and opportunities facing the main actors and
forward for the multilateral trading system
would like to welcome civil society to its annual
rendez-vous with the WTO.
This year's Forum — “Trading into the Future” — is
designed to provide a unique opportunity for
governments, non-governmental organizations, academics,
businesses, and students to come together to discuss how
the trading system may best reflect the future needs and
aspirations of the international community. This year's
Forum, which takes place against a background of
financial instability, high oil and food prices, will
ask: “how can the trading system be taken into the
future?” In doing so, we expect to trigger a frank and
open debate on the role and responsibility of the
multilateral trading system on complex issues such as
the food crisis, financial markets, climate change,
human rights, and electronic commerce, to mention but a
Civil society is essential to the work of the WTO, and
your participation this year, as in all previous years,
is invaluable. I look forward to your active engagement.
It is to you that the WTO must be held accountable.