“Seeking answers to global trade challenges”
19-21 September 2011
Geneva, WTO headquarters

The WTO Public Forum represents an important opportunity for the public to discuss the latest issues affecting world trade. This year the Public Forum has as its theme “Seeking Answers to Global Trade Challenges”. It will focus on identifying the principal challenges for the multilateral trading system and finding solutions to ensure that the WTO responds to our fast changing world.

Core themes
Practical information
Organizing your session
Have your say


Previous Public Forums

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




> Download pdf


The political, economic, and social aspects of the world we live in today are very different to those that existed a decade ago. For instance, food security, trade in natural resources and how it affects the environment, as well as the phenomenon of international supply chains pose new global challenges. As a result, there is a widening gap between existing trade rules and the realities of the 21st century. Examining how the WTO should adapt to deal with the new challenges has become increasingly important as the organization reflects on the way forward. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss current trade rules, to identify areas for improvement and to pinpoint the scope for rule-making in the future.

While the Doha Development Agenda remains a priority, the WTO recognizes that it needs to continue to examine all aspects of its work, and to contribute to greater cooperation across all areas of global governance. For further information about this year’s programme and core themes, see attached factsheet and visit our website http://www.wto.org/publicforum.

To increase the outreach of this year’s Public Forum, there will also be the opportunity to contribute to the debate through online discussion forums. Regular updates will be available on the WTO Facebook page, Twitter and Youtube. This will allow a wider audience to follow the sessions while allowing the public to post comments and to contribute to the discussion even if they cannot attend in person.

If you have any suggestions regarding this year’s Public Forum, please contact Maria Perez-Esteve (tel.: +41 22 739 55 46, email: [email protected]) in the Information and External Relations Division.

The importance of this year’s topic makes your participation even more valuable than ever.

Pascal Lamy


> Live updates
> Topics for discussion

live webcasting

> Animation: Played at the plenary opening

> Inaugural Speeches: WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy and President Laura Chinchilla Miranda of Costa Rica

> Session 2: Seeking Answers to Global Trade Challenges

> Session 10: One-on-one interview with Pascal Lamy

> Why is it crucial to measure trade flows in value-added terms in the 21st century?

> What does the WTO mean for Business? What can business do for the WTO?

> Video Contest Winner

> Highlights from the WTO Public Forum 2011

> Highlights: Opening session

> Highlights: Business and trade


photo gallery