The Trade and Sustainable Development Symposium (TSDS) was held in conjunction with the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation, in Geneva from the 16th to 17th December 2011.

In December 2011, ICTSD organised its fourth Trade and Sustainable Development Symposium (TSDS) in parallel with the WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva. The purpose of the event was to provide a forum for policy-makers, trade negotiators, academics, representatives from intergovernmental and nongovernmental organisations, as well as the private sector, to engage in substantive discussions in a non-negotiating context. Similar symposia were held in Cancun 2003, Hong Kong 2005 and Geneva 2009 in conjunction with WTO Ministerial Conferences.

In total, 44 speakers from 25 different countries (25 from developed, 14 from developing and 5 from LDCs) participated in the discussions. Among panellists were WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, trade ministers of South Africa, Indonesia, Peru and Sweden, and other high-profile officials. The event attracted more than 400 registered participants, not including official delegates with WTO badges. Some 150 people attended each session. In their feedback forms participants praised the range, quality and knowledge of the speakers and the substantive nature of the discussions.

The symposium was followed by the launch of the LDC IV Monitor, an independent partnership of think tanks (in which ICTSD participates) to assess and monitor the outcome of the Fourth United Nations Conference on Least-developed Countries held in May 2011.

ICTSD also provided BRIDGES Daily Updates, in six different languages, of the Ministerial Conference negotiatons as they unfolded