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WTO Public Forum 2008 Print
The NCCR Trade Regulation participates in three sessions at the WTO Public Forum of this year, dealing with salient issues, such as the world food crisis and variable geometries. The researchers take advantage of the Forum to discuss their research results with the stakeholders of the multilateral system.
24-25 September 2008, World Trade Organisation, Geneva

This year’s Public Forum of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) themed “Trading into the Future” offers a wide range of aspects for discussion concerning the challenges and opportunities facing the WTO and its stakeholders, as well as the ways forward for the multilateral trading system. The world food crisis and variable geometries are in the centre of the discussions in two of the sessions where our researchers from the NCCR Trade Regulation participate.

World Food Crisis: Are Trade Rules a Problem or a Way Forward?

Current food shortage is fostering the debate about how food security can be ensured in developing countries. Trade is at the heart of this debate. But how do present trade rules influence food security in both import-dependent and other developing countries?
This question will be discussed with respect to the ongoing Doha Round negotiations, as well as with respect to the Food Aid Convention and the World Feeding Program. The discussions will further take into account the commercial and development interests of all stakeholders in this issue, such as developing and developed countries importing and/or exporting food, farmers and consumers, rural and urban poor, as well as biofuels producers and processors.
Variable Geometries and Critical Mass: A Case for New Approaches to Reinforce Cooperation within the WTO?

As every WTO member has an effective right of veto, negotiations progress only in small and consolidated steps. Therefore variable geometries and critical mass approaches represent new avenues for those WTO members interested in promoting trade liberalisation and new rule making. But how should one assess the balance to be struck between ambition and inclusiveness? And how can variable geometries help to accommodate the needs and interests of all members, including developing countries? The discussions will be aimed at considering the economic soundness and feasibility of these approaches.
These are two of the topics which are discussed at the WTO Public Forum themed “Trading into the Future”. The Forum is one of the most important platforms for dialogue amongst the stakeholders of the multilateral trading system. It is a good opportunity for the participating researchers of the NCCR Trade Regulation to bring their knowledge and experiences to discussions and pick up new ideas for their research work.

SNF - Swiss National Science Foundation The National Centres of Competence in Research are a research instrument of the Swiss National Science Foundation