Practical Information

The 2011 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.

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Previous Public Forums

> WTO Public Forum 2010
> WTO Public Forum 2009
> WTO Public Forum 2008

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 51 11




‘Genève Aéroport’ (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 60 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. For a simple second class trip from the airport to Gare Cornavin, you can also use the free tickets available through the distributors in the baggage claim area.

> 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

Click on the map to enlarge


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 organize visa arrangements.

***Renovation in the WTO Building***

The Centre William Rappard, the main building of the WTO, is currently undergoing intense renovation. Therefore, access to the different conference rooms during the Forum may be more complicated than in previous years. We invite all participants to follow carefully the indications that will be posted in our premises during the event and apologize for any inconvenience.


  • 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, 14 September. Please note that all participants and accompanying guests must be registered to ensure that a badge is available upon their arrival at WTO headquarters.

  • BADGES: These can be collected at any time throughout the Forum. Those planning to attend the Opening Ceremony at 10:00 am on Monday, 19 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 the valid ID with which participants completed their registration before the Forum. 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.



    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 “Parfumerie”

    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 www.expedia.com and www.orbitz.com may be helpful. For more references, please check www.genevashotels.com. 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 Cafeteria of the World Meteorological Organization offers a lovely terrace with beautiful views on the Leman Lake along with lunch options ranging from 12 to 20 CHF. It is open from 12:30 to 14:30 and can be accessed upon presentation of a valid ID. For a quick bite, the WTO Café located in the CR building 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. In the Botanical Gardens, a few steps away from the WTO, there is a nice and friendly self-service cafeteria in beautiful surroundings.

    Barton’s Parc Cafeteria Iadjacent to the WTO has many lunch options at prices ranging from CHF14-25.  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 ATM.



    Geneva Tourism: http://www.geneve-tourisme.ch/
    Weather: http://www.meteoschweiz.admin.ch/web/en/weather.html
    Bus Schedule: http://www.tpg.ch
    Train Schedule: http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/en/reisen.htm
    Geneva Airport: www.gva.ch