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General Practical Information

The 2009 Public Forum team is looking forward to welcoming you to this year's Public Forum held at the WTO headquarters in Geneva — Centre William Rappard.

28-30 September 2009


Hot topics


Practical information








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. Geneva International Airport offers you a free ticket into town, valid throughout the « Tout Genève » zone of the Geneva Public Transport system. You can get the free ticket from the automatic distributor, located in the baggage claim area, just before going through customs. It is valid for 80 minutes and is available to arriving passengers only. Bus 28 takes you directly to the WTO (Jardin Botanique direction).

By taxi:
Taxis can be found directly outside the arrival hall. One-way fare to the WTO should be no more than CHF40.

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 CHF3.

> 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 CHF3 or 2 € and can be purchased at electronic dispensers at the bus stop. 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 Wednesday, 23 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.

  • BADGES: These can be collected at any time throughout the Forum. Those planning to attend the Plenary Opening at 10:00 am on Monday 28 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 regular session will be held on WTO premises and will be granted a strictly monitored two hour time slot, high-level sessions will run for three hours.

    • ORGANIZATION OF SESSIONS: Please recall that it is highly recommended four speakers and one moderator participate in two hour slot sessions. Each speaker should prepare a 5 to 8 min. introductory statement, after which the session should be opened to comments and questions from the audience. Speakers are encouraged to make concise and dynamic presentations.

    • MEETING ROOMS: Parallel sessions will be operating throughout the length of the Public Forum following Registration and the Plenary Opening on 28 September. Simultaneous interpretation of all Forum sessions will be provided in the WTO's three official languages — English, French and Spanish. The general location and total capacity of each meeting room is outlined below.



    CR I

    CR II





    New Building

    New Building

    New Building

    Ground Floor

    Main Building

    3 rd Floor

    Main Building

    3 rd 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 highly discourage their use. However, if you consider them absolutely necessary we urge you to keep the number of slides to a minimun and to project key points and figures. 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 Friday 18 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 (5 to 8mins 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 emerged 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.


      Please bear in mind the following guidelines when preparing a summary of your session for the 2009 WTO Public Forum publication.

    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.

    • Presentations by the panellists: Brief summary of the main points raised by each panellist. These could be presented in the form of bullet points.

    • Questions and comments by the audience: A selection of some of the questions/comments following the presentations.

    • Conclusion: Short description of how the panellists concluded the session.

    WORD COUNT: 2,000 — 3,000 words. Due to space limitations, it will not be possible to accept contributions longer than this.

    DEADLINE: Please send your detailed summary in a word document at the latest by Friday 23 October 2009 to the following e-mail address: [email protected]

    EDITING: Your contribution will be edited by a professional editor.

    • 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 Monday 28 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 will be set up to discuss the topics 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, non-governmental organizations and country missions, Geneva is characterized by holding variety of talks, meetings and conferences 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 33 141 33.

    If you are staying at a hotel, a youth hostel or a campsite, the establishment will offer you the “Geneva Transport Card” that allows you to use public transport in Geneva free of charge during your stay. Get more information from Genève Tourisme or the establishment concerned.
    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 “Meyrin-Village”

    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

    • Geneva International Airport

    > 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 CHF10-15. The Botanical Gardens also offers a nice and friendly self-service cafeteria in beautiful surroundings. 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 CHF22 and lunch menus CHF15). There is also a Lebanese restaurant (Layalilna, 121 rue de Lausanne). The Hotel Eden restaurant (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 there.

    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.



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



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