WTO hosts its annual public symposium: “Multilateralism at a crossroads”

The World Trade Organization hosted a public symposium from 25 to 27 May 2004 on the challenges the WTO and its Members face in ensuring a successful completion of the Doha Development Agenda. Participants from governments, parliaments, civil society, the business sector, academia and the media discussed how to address the key challenges facing the multilateral trading system in a crucial phase of the Doha Round.

“....In order to move ahead and finish the negotiations successfully we will need WTO Members to translate the current strong political will and support into practical negotiating flexibilities” said WTO Director-General Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi. “We have now reactivated the negotiating groups and other bodies and our collective task is to find that elusive link between political will and concrete progress. What we are doing here is immensely important to economic growth, stability and development prospects for all stakeholders of the multilateral trading system. Governments and the multilateral trading system therefore need active input and support from all of them and I hope to see some of that during this year's public symposium”, he said.

The 2004 symposium featured an opening plenary session followed by work sessions on key subjects being negotiated in the Doha Round. Topics included trade and development, issues related to agriculture, trade and environment as well as institutional questions. As was the case during previous symposia, most of the time available was set aside for governments, civil society and parliamentarians to organize their own events.

> Programme (includes links to speakers' presentations where supplied)
> Webcasting

For more information please contact:

Bernard Kuiten — External Relations Division
Tel: 00 41 22 739 56 76 or 739 52 54