Monday, July 13, 2009

World Trade Organization

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international organization designed by its founders to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakesh Agreement, replacing the General agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), wich commenced in 1947. The World Trade Organization deals with regulation of trade between participating countries; it provides a framework for negotiating and formalising trade agreements, and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants' adherence to WTO agreements which are signed by representatives of member governments and ratified by their parliaments. The WTO has 153 members, representing more than 95% of total world trade and 30 observers, most seeking membership. The WTO is governed by a ministerial conference, meeting every two years; a general council, which implements the conference's policy decisions and is responsible for day-to-day administration; and a director-general, who is appointed by the ministerial conference. The WTO's headquarters is at the Centre William Rappard, Geneva, Switzerland.

Basic Info:


January 1, 1995


Centre William Rappard, Geneva, Switzerland


153 member states

Official languages:

English, French, Spanish[1]


Pascal Lamy

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