The Public Forum, which is the WTO’s largest annual outreach event, will take place from 28th September to 1st October 2021. Serving as a platform for over 1,500 stakeholders, the Forum welcomes participants from all ranks of society, including the general public, the epistemic community, the private sector and government institutions. This year’s theme, entitled ‘Trade Beyond COVID-19: Building Resilience’, will examine the effect of the global pandemic on international trade and consider how the multilateral trading system can withstand the effects of the current pandemic and future crises. In essence, the Public Forum will concentrate on three subthemes:
1. Enhancing resilience beyond COVID-19
2. Strengthening the multilateral trading system
3. Collective action towards sustainable trade
Topics that will be discussed during the event, including digital trade and the environment, coincide with key issues that have been debated in various WTO committees, particularly over the course of the past year in light of the pandemic. By offering a platform for experts, this event is likely to provide deeper insights on key issues that will influence future discussions. The event will also be a prime occasion for the WTO to reconnect with the public and better understand how to support its needs. In light of MC12 and in the wake of a new Director-General, the Public Forum may well illuminate the path to WTO reform and provide an informative basis for discussions ahead of the ministerial conference.
Sessions forecasted to take place include presentations on trade technology for sustainable trade, the benefits and challenges of cross-border e-commerce, the mechanics behind a carbon border adjustment mechanism and the importance of reaching an agreement on fisheries subsidies.
Over the course of four days, the Public Forum will travel along the spectrum of critical WTO issues in an environment that stimulates civil society engagement, making it an opportune time for the WTO to define its approach towards supporting the global community, particularly as the world looks to the post-pandemic future of recovery.
You can find the draft programme here
Registration for the event should be completed no later than 6th September 2021 by submitting this form