25th anniversary of the WTO


To commemorate its 25th anniversary, the WTO will host on 19 November a series of discussions that will provide an opportunity to reflect on and take stock of the achievements as well as the challenges facing the organization.

The event — entitled “WTO at 25: Past, Present & Future” — will comprise a keynote speech and two panels. The first will feature a discussion among government officials, including ministers. The second will be a debate among stakeholders, including representatives from the private sector, civil society, media and academia.


Keynote Speech: Keynote speaker Guy Parmelin, Federal Councillor, Vice President of the Swiss Confederation

Panel 1: Senior government representatives, including at ministerial level, will discuss how the WTO has evolved over 25 years. They will share their views on the role the WTO has played in shaping their economies, consider the shortcomings of the system and what should be done to facilitate the integration of developing and least developed countries into the multilateral trading system.

Panel 2: Representatives from the private sector, civil society, media and IGOs will debate how the multilateral system has served society. This will include sharing ideas on how to ensure that the multilateral trading system better reflects the needs and expectations of society and how it can be more inclusive, providing a level playing field for all, particularly the poorest countries, small business, women and youth.

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25 years of the WTO

The WTO began life on 1 January 1995, succeeding the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade which had regulated world trade since 1948. Over the past 25 years, the WTO has made a major contribution to the strength and stability of the global economy, helping to boost trade growth, resolve numerous trade disputes and support the integration of developing countries into the trading system.

Source/Image Credit: WTO