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On 1-3 October, the WTO held its annual Public Forum under the theme “Why trade matters to everyone”. The event attracted more than one thousand participants — NGOs, academics, business, the media, governments, international organizations and members of the public — who participated in almost 70 sessions over the three-day event. Next week, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo visits the United States.

The week ahead: 6-10 October 2014

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On 10 and 11 October, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo visits the United States where he attends the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington DC.

The Committee on Trade-Related Investment Measures meets on 6 October. Members will examine proposals on special treatment for developing and least-developed countries and discuss trade concerns raised under the Trade-Related Investment Measures Agreement.


> Next week’s schedule
> Coming up


The week in review: 29 September- 3 October 2014


> Welcoming remarks by Director-General Azevêdo

> Keynote speech by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

> Trade matters to me

The WTO's annual Public Forum opened on 1 October at the organization's  headquarters in Geneva. This year's Forum featured a three-day programme of discussions focusing on “why trade matters to everyone”. Director-General Roberto Azevêdo welcomed more than a thousand participants to the Forum. At the opening plenary debate he explained the theme of this year’s forum; “trade matters to everyone because every day, for good or ill, it affects us all… and it affects the poorest the most”.
Find out more

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in his Public Forum keynote address, said that “international trade is an essential component of an integrated effort to end poverty, ensure food security and promote economic growth”, adding that “an ounce of trade can be worth a pound of aid”. He said that “the UN fully supports the efforts of the WTO to conclude the Doha Round. This remains the best route to a fairer, development-oriented trading system”.
Read his speech

At the Dispute Settlement Body meeting on 26 September, many delegations welcomed the Director-General’s statement about the challenges facing the WTO dispute settlement system. The Dispute Settlement Body also agreed to appoint Mr Shree Baboo Chekitan Servansing as a member of the Appellate Body for a four-year term starting on 1 October 2014.
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DG Azevêdo met with a delegation from the International Maize Alliance Maizall on 29 September at the WTO. On 30 September, he met with Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs Borge Brende and gave the opening address, via videoconference, to the Global Services Summit conference in Washington DC.  On 1 October, DG Azevêdo met with El Salvador's Minister of Economy Tharsis Salomón López Guzmán. On 2 October, DG Azevêdo met with Portugal's State Secretary for European Affairs Bruno Maçães, and opened the Public Forum plenary debate on “what trade means for Africa”. Read his speech here.



Other news in brief


The WTO issued an update on the work of the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), a multi-donor initiative to support developing countries in building capacity to implement international standards in human, animal and plant health (see G/SPS/GEN/1357).

Argentina informed the WTO Secretariat on 26 September of its decision to appeal in a dispute involving measures affecting the importation of goods (see WT/DS438/15, WT/DS444/14 and WT/DS445/14).