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This year's discussions will focus on four core themes

  • Food security: what role can trade play in ensuring food security?
  • Trade in natural resources: how does trade affect the sustainability of natural resources?
  • “Made in the World”: more and more products are “Made in the World” rather than “Made in the UK” or “Made in France”. How does measuring trade flows in added value terms affect the way we analyse international economics and conduct trade policy?
  • What next for the international trading system?

Some 46 sessions have been organized over the three days of the Forum to focus on these themes. The inaugural speech will be delivered by H.E. Mrs. Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica. The sessions include four high-level debates:

  • Opening session: Seeking Answers to Global Trade Challenges. Speakers include WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, the Director General of WWF International, James Leape, and the Director of the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute, Dr. Maximo Torero. The session will be moderated by Daniel Franklin, the Executive Director of The Economist.
  • Seeking Answers to Global Trade Challenges: One-on-one interview with Pascal Lamy. During a 90-minute one-on-one interview with Zeinab Badawi, Presenter of the BBC's World News Today, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy will discuss the multilateral trading system of the future and answer questions from the audience. If you would like to submit questions in advance, please send these to questionsdg@wto.org
  • Arab Spring — Implications for Trade and Competitiveness of the Arab World. Speakers include WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, Taleb D. Rifai, the Director of the Arabic Language Channel at France 24, Nahida Nakad, the former Chairman & CEO of Orascom Telecom, Naguib Sawiris and the Editor of Al-Quds al-Arabi, Abd, Al Bari Atwan. The session will be moderated by Zeinab Badawi.
  • Business Leadership on Trade in the 21st Century. Speakers include Juan Rada, Senior Vice President of Oracle Corporation, Emmanuel Faber, Chief Operating Officer of Danone, Bill Echikson, Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs at Google, Stephen Pattison, Director and CEO of the UK's International Chamber of Commerce, and Wayne Paterson, Head of Emerging Markets and GBU CardioMetabolic Care & General Medicine at Merck Serono. The session will be moderated by WTO Deputy Director-General Alejandro Jara.

For those who cannot attend the Public Forum, there will be the opportunity to follow the discussions by watching live webcasts of certain sessions, by listening to podcasts of every session, and by participating through social media.

The sessions that will be webcast live are as follows (Geneva, Central European Time):

  • 9.30 am Inaugural speech by President Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica
  • 10 am Opening session: Seeking Answers to Global Trade Challenges
  • 4.15 pm BBC's Zeinab Badawi's interview with WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy

Once sessions have ended, the audio will be posted on the website within the Public Forum programme.

To keep up to date on Twitter, go to twitter.com/wto_omc. You can also follow the Public Forum on Facebook at www.facebook.com/worldtradeorganization, YouTube (videos) www.youtube.com/user/WTO, Flickr (photos) www.flickr.com/photos/world_trade_organization/ and on the WTO website www.wto.org/publicforum.



The WTO Public Forum is an annual event that provides a platform for public debate and discussion across a wide range of WTO issues and activities. Since 2001, more than 8,000 representatives from civil society, academia, business, the media, governments, parliamentarians and inter-governmental organizations have attended the Public Forum.

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