30 September 2015, WTO Headquarters, Room S3
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Organized jointly by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the European Parliament

WTO Forum 2015 Over recent years, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has established a tradition of holding annual public events where participants from government, parliament, civil society, the business sector, academia and the media jointly reflect upon the functioning of the multilateral trading system and analyse the institutional state of the WTO. The Inter-Parliamentary Union and the European Parliament have been associated with WTO public forums on a number of occasions, having jointly organized parliamentary events within the overall programme of such fora.

WTO Public Forum 2015 will be held on WTO premises in Geneva (Centre William Rappard) from 30 September to 2 October, under the overall theme Trade works. As part of the Forum's programme, which includes a great number of separate events, the IPU and the European Parliament will organize a Parliamentary Session entitled Reducing trade costs: why speedy legislative action on the Trade Facilitation Agreement is of paramount importance. A detailed programme of the session will be posted here shortly.

The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), commonly perceived as the most important outcome of the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, is aimed at boosting global trade by expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods. It is expected to benefit the global economy by up to $ 1 trillion per year. Its entry into force requires domestic ratification by two-thirds of WTO Members. Parliaments play a key role in this regard. Their swift action to ratify the TFA is pivotal for allowing all countries - particularly the least developed ones - to see the promised gains from growing trade and increasing foreign direct investment. The holding of a special parliamentary event focused on the TFA during the WTO Public Forum should help legislators better understand the underlying issues.
The Parliamentary Session will take place from 4 to 5.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 30 September, in Room S3 at WTO Headquarters. The Session will be open to all parliamentarians and other participants duly accredited to the WTO Forum, subject to the limits of the room's seating capacity. Interpretation into English, French and Spanish will be provided by the WTO Secretariat.

Important notice: All participants in the WTO Public Forum are responsible for their own visa, travel arrangements and accommodation in Geneva. For practical reasons, the IPU Secretariat is not in a position to help parliamentary delegates with accommodation and other practical arrangements in Geneva, which remain the sole responsibility of each delegate. Participants are required to register by 20 September 2015 at the latest, using the on-line registration facility. No on-the-spot registration will be possible. Registration is handled by the WTO Secretarait.

Updated on 17 May 2015   
Information note about the Parliamentary SessionPDF [English] [French]
On-line registration for WTO Public Forum 2015 New!HTML [English] [French]
Trade Facilitation Agreement. Background information note prepared by the WTO Secretariat.PDF [English] [French]
WTO Public Forum 2015 (main page)HTML [English] [French]
Annual 2015 session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTOHTML [English] [French]
Bali session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTOHTML [English] [French]
Parliamentary Panel "Post-Bali agenda: where does parliamentary oversight fit in?"
(WTO Public Forum 2014)
HTML [English] [French]
Parliamentary Panel "Trade in natural resources - curse or blessing? A parliamentary perspective"
(WTO Public Forum 2011)
HTML [English] [French]
Parliamentary Panel "Can the existing multilateral trading system cope with the emerging challenges?"
(WTO Public Forum 2010)
HTML [English] [French]
Parliamentary Panel "Can protectionism protect trade? The legislator's perspective"
(WTO Public Forum 2009)
HTML [English] [French]
Parliamentary Panel "Trade and climate change: Is trade killing our planet?"
(WTO Public Forum 2007)
HTML [English] [French]
Parliamentary Panel "The perceived loss of "sovereignty" due to WTO accords: should parliamentarians be concerned?"
(WTO Public Symposium 2005)
HTML [English] [French]
Parliamentary Panel "Parliaments and the WTO"
(WTO Public Symposium 2003)
HTML [English] [French]

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Updated on 8 September 2015   
16:00 - 17:30
WTO Headquarters
Room S3
Reducing trade costs: why speedy legislative action on the Trade Facilitation Agreement is of paramount importance
  • Mr. Bernd Lange, Chairman of the Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament
  • Ms. Joanmariae Louise Fubbs, MP, South Africa
  • Ms. Siti Hediati, MP, Indonesia
  • Mr. Joseph Hyacinthe Owona Kono, MP, Cameroon
  • Ms. Emma McClarkin, Member of the European Parliament
  • Mr. Paul Rübig, Member of the European Parliament

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