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Source: World Trade Organisation

The event – entitled “WTO at 25: Past, Present & Future” – will kick off at 13:00 with a keynote speech by Guy Parmelin, Federal Councilor, Vice President of the Swiss Confederation. Mr Parmelin’s speech will be followed by statements from Ambassador David Walker of New Zealand who chairs the WTO’s General Council and by WTO Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff.

Two discussion panels will follow. The first will be a discussion among government officials including ministers. The second will bring together representatives from the private sector, civil society, media and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). The full programme is available here. All sessions will be staged in hybrid mode, with some participants on site at the WTO headquarters while the majority of panellists participate remotely.

The panel with government representatives will examine how the WTO has evolved over 25 years. There will be discussion on the role the WTO has played in shaping economies, on where the trading system has fallen short of its objectives and on how to better integrate developing and least developed countries into the system. In the second panel, representatives from the private sector, civil society, media and IGOs will discuss how to best ensure that the WTO and the system it oversees fully address the needs of all relevant stakeholders including those in the poorest countries, smaller companies, women and young people.

The entire programme will be livestreamed on the WTO website. Viewers can pose questions to panellists in advance of the event through the WTO’s social media platforms and can submit questions during the live broadcast via the Sli.do platforms. On Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, please use the hashtag #AskWTOat25. Instructions on how to use Sli.do will be provided on the day of the event.

Further information about the WTO’s 25th anniversary is available here.

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