The World Trade Organisation (WTO) will host the launch of World Cotton Dayon 7 October 2019 at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

World Cotton Day will celebrate cotton, from its qualities as a natural fibre to the benefits people obtain from its production, transformation, trade and consumption. The event will also serve to shed light on the challenges faced by cotton industries around the world, and particularly in the least-developed countries.

The day’s events will include:

  • A plenary session with heads of state, heads of international organisations, ministers and high-level officials as well as industry and business leaders;
  • Several thematic side events gathering public and private sector leaders and experts on cotton for informative discussions and networking;
  • A partners’ conference organised to leverage resources and catalyse technical expertise specifically towards a new project on technology transfer for the development of cotton by-product value chains in eight pilot African countries;
  • A fashion show to display cotton fashion and designers from different parts of the world with a special focus on Africa;
  • A press conference; and
  • Cotton exhibitions, display booths, a pop-up store, a photo contest, a reception and livestreaming of cotton celebrations around the world.

Representatives from the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) will attend the event and Alan McClay, CEO, will moderate a panel discussion organised by the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). Join BCI and industry experts from Cotton Incorporated, C&A Foundation, H&M Group, World Textile Information Network, Esquel Group and Vardeman Farms between 15:30-17:00 CET on 7 October. The panel will address many of cotton’s challenges, including climate change, population growth, plastic pollution, innovation and changing consumer preferences.

In addition, Lisa Barratt, BCI Africa Operations Manager, will deliver a presentation on sustainability issues in the cotton sector in Africa, before participating in a panel discusson focused on market and policy trends in the cotton sector.

For further information and to register, please visit the World Cotton Daywebpage. Online registration must be completed no later than 20 September 2019.

Additional details

The WTO Secretariat is organising the event in collaboration with the Secretariats of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). This event stems from the Cotton-4’s (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali) official application for the recognition of a World Cotton Day by the United Nations General Assembly, reflecting the importance of cotton as a global commodity.

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