WTO OPEN DAY
The day kicked off with an opening ceremony attended by WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, the Chair of the General Council Sunanta Kangvalkulkij and representatives of the Swiss Confederation, the State Council and the City of Geneva. This was followed by a “Thank You” award presented by DG Azevêdo to the "Brigade de Sécurité Diplomatique", the police officers in charge of protecting civil servants and diplomats working in Geneva.
DG Azevêdo said: "I am pleased to give this thank you award to the Brigade de Sécurité Diplomatique. Every day, each of us relies on your professionalism, skill and expertise to protect us, and also our families and loved ones. This includes WTO staff and those who work for the diplomatic missions to the WTO. Of course, it also includes all the other international organizations and missions in Geneva. And while much of your work is unseen, it is by no means overlooked, forgotten or taken for granted. So today we want to celebrate and recognize the exceptional job done."
Commander of the Geneva Police, Ms Monica Bonfanti, received the award on behalf of the diplomatic police. She said: "On behalf of all the employees of the Brigade de Sécurité Diplomatique of the Geneva Police, it is with pleasure and honor that I receive this award. The Brigade undertakes, with great pride the task of protecting international Geneva."
Throughout the day, visitors had the opportunity to discover more about the organization through exhibitions on the history of the WTO building, key figures in its evolution and the "ways we gain from trade".
More than twenty tours of the WTO's headquarters – the Centre William Rappard – were held throughout the day to allow visitors to learn more about the unique works of art in this historic building. The WTO’s team of interpreters explained what it is like to work as an interpreter and encouraged visitors to try out the interpretation booths.
Visitors were also able to enjoy national food and drinks provided by a selection of WTO members who had set up stalls overlooking Lac Léman. Younger visitors were able to enjoy story-telling, face-painting and a bouncy castle.