26 September 2017, WTO Headquarters
European Parliament's logo
Organized jointly by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the European Parliament

WTO Forum 2016 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 2017 will be held on WTO premises in Geneva (Centre William Rappard) from 26 to 28 September, under the overall theme Trade: Behind the Headlines. 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 Making trade fair: The contribution of parliaments.

Global trade openness has boosted economic growth and competitiveness. It has also enabled poorer countries to catch up and become part of the global trading system. Over the last years, it has however been evident that not everybody benefits equally from these opportunities, and many people feel left behind, which has in turn stirred up feelings of widespread anxiety and frustration, along with serious questions about the relevance of the global trading system. This has been particularly evident in several election campaigns, not the least in the developed world, and has sparked a new debate on the rules of global trade and the need to make sure that trade is fair and sustainable. The objective of this session is to afford parliamentarians the opportunity to reflect upon their role in this debate and to put forward concrete proposals for parliamentary action and in support of initiatives on how the benefits of trade can be more equally shared and can contribute to more sustainable trade in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Parliamentary Session will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, 26 September, in Room W 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 12 September 2017 at the latest, using the on-line registration facility. No on-the-spot registration will be possible. Registration is handled by the WTO Secretariat.

Updated on 30 June 2017  

Information note about the Parliamentary SessionPDF [English] [French]
On-line registration for WTO Public Forum 2017 HTML [English] [French]
WTO Public Forum 2017 (main page)HTML [English] [French]
2016 Annual session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTOHTML [English] [French]
Parliamentary Session "How can global value chains make trade more inclusive? A legislative perspective."
(WTO Public Forum 2016)
HTML [English] [French]
Parliamentary Session "Reducing trade costs: why speedy legislative action on the Trade Facilitation Agreement is of paramount importance"
(WTO Public Forum 2015)
HTML [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 25 September 2017  
11:30 - 1 p.m.
WTO Headquarters
Room W
Making trade fair: The contribution of parliaments
  • Mr. Ram Etwareea, journalist, Le Temps
  • Mr. Joseph Owona Kono, MP, Cameroon
  • Mr. Helmut Scholz, Member of the European parliament
  • Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, UNCTAD
  • Mr. Sergi Corbalan, Executive Director, Fair Trade Advocacy
  • Mr. Siraj Mohammad Khan, MNA, Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce.

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