The WTO, which replaced the GATT in early 1995 to manage multilateral international trade relations, is now a major global organization. The importance of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is such that 150 countries are currently members of this organization and 30 countries are in the process of accession. Preparation is the negotiation process.
At the height of World War II, and especially in the years that followed, extensive efforts were made to regulate relations between countries in the political and economic arenas. International politics led.
The result of these efforts in the field of trade and commerce in 1947 led to the establishment of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Many countries have been pursuing multilateral trade issues within the GATT for nearly half a century. And with the complexity of international trade and commerce issues, the need to establish a responsible institution in this field became clear in the last decade of the twentieth century. Accordingly, the GATT members in the Uruguay Round, which is the last round of GATT trade negotiations, laid the foundation stone for a new institution called the World Trade Organization by ratifying the Moroccan agreement.
The GATT is, in addition to many other things. International with a permanent organizational structure. The organization, which has replaced GATT since 1995, is an international organization that oversees the rights and obligations of its members in addition to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade under a number of other agreements.
Another difference between the GATT and the WTO is that the GATT rules only apply to trade in goods, while the WTO agreement covers, in addition to the trade in goods, the trade in services and trade aspects related to intellectual property.
Another difference between the GATT and the WTO is the dispute resolution system. In the WTO, there are more detailed and practical rules for reviewing and implementing the decisions of the dispute settlement system. The dispute resolution system of this organization has set a time limit for review and in this respect is faster than the GATT dispute resolution system. In this system, which has an automatic aspect, the probability of disruption and delay is less. There is also an institution in the Trade Organization to appeal and review the views of the Dispute Settlement Body.
The objectives mentioned in the introduction to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade are to raise the living standards of the people of the member states, to provide opportunities for full employment, to increase real incomes and to increase demand, and to exploit global resources and expand international trade. Trade as well.
In addition, in this organization, the expansion of production and trade of services is considered in addition to the expansion of production and trade of goods, and the use of global resources is also conditioned on the protection of the environment and sustainable growth.
Therefore, if we want to summarize the goals of the World Trade Organization, they will be:
1- Managing and supervising the implementation of 28 agreements
2- A forum for multilateral trade negotiations
3- Trade dispute resolution mechanism
4- Reviewing and evaluating members’ business policies
5- Cooperation with other international organizations in the field of global economy management
6. Assisting developing countries and economies in transition to enjoy the benefits of a multilateral trading system
The WTO pursues these goals on the basis of principles such as the principle of non-discrimination, the principle of trade liberalization, the principle of fair trade, the principle of transparency, the principle of special and different treatment of developing countries. It is not the case that all WTO member states, with any level of economic development or any amount of economic and trade volume, are equally required to comply with these principles.
The World Trade Organization, as an international organization to which most countries are members, has the following organizational structure to carry out its functions of managing multilateral international trade:
The Ministerial Conference is the highest body of the WTO and is composed of the relevant ministers of all member states. Becomes. At the Ministerial Conference, the agenda prepared by the General Council will be considered and all issues related to the WTO affairs will be decided within the framework of multilateral trade agreements.
The first meeting of the WTO Ministerial Conference since its inception was held in December 1996 in Singapore. The second meeting was held in May 1998 in Geneva, the third meeting in December 1999 in Seattle, the fourth meeting in November 2001 in Doha, Qatar, the fifth meeting in September 2003 in Cancun, Mexico, and the sixth meeting in December 2005 in Hong Kong.
The General Council, which is the most important pillar of the World Trade Organization after the Ministerial Conference, is responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the Organization. General, b) Dispute Resolution Board, c) Commercial Policy Review Board. Ordinary meetings of the General Assembly are usually convened by both of us once with the participation of the ambassadors of the member states.
The General Council, on behalf of the Conference, shall conduct all matters relating to the World Trade Organization between the sessions of the Ministerial Conference. The council conveys its reports to the conference, either in the form of a Dispute Resolution Board that oversees member dispute resolution procedures or in the form of a Trade Policy Review Board that convenes to analyze members’ trade policy. Ministers.
The next pillar of the World Trade Organization is the sectoral councils, each of which is responsible for managing a wide range of trade issues and reporting to the General Council. The number of these councils is three, which are: a) the Council for Trade in Goods, b) the Council for Trade in Services, c) the Council for Commercial Aspects Related to Intellectual Property.
As the name implies, each of these councils is responsible for implementing WTO agreements in the relevant trade areas. These councils consist of all members of the organization. The three district councils also have affiliated institutions. Although the scope of work of these institutions is more limited, they, like the above-mentioned councils, consist of all members of the World Trade Organization and report to the General Council.
These include issues such as trade and development, the environment, regional trade agreements and administrative issues. At its first meeting in Singapore in December 1996, the WTO Ministerial Conference agreed to establish new working groups on investment and competition policy, transparency in government procurement, and trade facilitation.
Each of the high-level councils has its own affiliated committees, which are in the next stage in terms of organizational hierarchy. These committees, which consist of all members of the World Trade Organization, report to the relevant councils. The number of such committees under the Commodity Trade Council is 16, which work in specialized fields. The Services Trade Council also has four affiliated committees. At the level of the General Council, the Dispute Resolution Board has two affiliated sub-bodies, namely the Dispute Resolution Panels and the Board of Appeals.
The WTO Secretariat, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is in charge of administrative affairs. The WTO currently has around 700 employees. The main activity of the Secretariat is related to the negotiations for the accession of new members and providing the necessary consultations to the countries applying for membership in the Organization. At the head of the Secretariat is the Director General, who is elected by the General Council. The Director General, with the cooperation of his deputies, manages the affairs of the Secretariat and its various departments.
The first director general of the World Trade Organization, Peter Sutherland, was the last director general of the GATT, and for some time after its establishment, he was also its director general. The second Director-General of the World Trade Organization was Renato Rogiro from Italy, whose four-year term, which began in 1995, ended in April 1999. The third Director-General of the World Trade Organization was Mike Moore from Australia, who held this position from 1999 to 2002. The fourth Director-General of the World Trade Organization was Mr. Supachai Panich Pakdi from Thailand, who was in charge from 2002 to 2005. The current Director General of the World Organization, who is in fact the fifth Director General of this organization, is Mr. Pascal Lamy from France, who has been in charge of this position since 2005.
Although informal meetings are not part of the WTO’s organizational chart, since decisions in the WTO are based on consensus, there is no doubt that this will not be possible without prior consultation between members. Accordingly, informal consultations in various forms, even at the level of heads of delegations, play an important role in achieving the consensus of the members of the organization and are required for formal meetings of various committees and councils. These consultations are very important in terms of members agreeing to accept the membership of a new country.
In general terms:
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international organization; Which regulates global trade laws and resolves disputes between members. The members of the World Trade Organization are the countries that have signed the agreements (approximately ?? agreements) of this organization. The World Trade Organization is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Until November ????, ??? The country has become a member of this organization. Vietnam is currently the newest member of the organization.
The organization uses various decision-making, regulatory, executive and legal elements to reach agreements approved by members and to monitor their proper implementation. These pillars include the Ministerial Conference, the General Council, the Dispute Settlement Pillar, the Trade Policy Review Pillar, and the Councils.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) on a larger scale in January 1995. In addition to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947), which dealt only with trade in goods, the WTO entered into two other key areas, including services and intellectual property rights.
In the field of services, the General Agreement on Services and in the field of intellectual property, the Agreement on the Commercial Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights are among the achievements of the Uruguay Round negotiations. Goods that were previously excluded from the international free trade system (such as agricultural products, textiles, and clothing) were also included in the organization’s commodity agreements. Accordingly, the WTO has relied on these three main agreements to cover the three areas of trade in goods, services and intellectual property rights. Each of the general agreements has the ability to set specific agreements under them.
Accordingly, during the Uruguay Round of the Commodity Trade, twelve specific commodity agreements were concluded under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (known as the GATT 1994). Each of the Twelve Agreements covers the subject matter of a particular segment of the Commodity Trade and, in its own area, clarifies the details of agreements between members.
The goal of this organization is to establish a legal trade system between member countries to increase employment, income, effective demand and living standards in a predictable, safe, and transparent environment so that trade development continues in a sustainable manner and while preserving the environment.
The basic principles of this organization that form the basis of behavior in this organization are:
· The principle of non-discrimination, which itself is divided into two branches of the perfect government and national behavior. The condition of a full-fledged government (MFN) is to grant the best business status granted to each member to other members, and the condition of national conduct means that after crossing the border and paying the relevant salaries and duties, discrimination between goods and suppliers of foreign goods and suppliers of domestic goods Do not take place. The same is true of the service and the service provider and the holder of foreign intellectual property rights in relation to similar domestic cases.
The principle of trade liberalization is achieved through the gradual removal of non-tariff barriers and their conversion into tariffs, the stabilization of tariff ceilings and the commitment to a gradual reduction of tariff levels.
The principle of transparency means providing all information related to the country’s trade policy periodically to the World Trade Organization and establishing information centers for all the country’s trade laws and regulations and the standards required for the import of goods. It is the duty of all members to provide timely advertisements for any changes or changes in laws, regulations and standards.
The principle of fair or just trade means creating the conditions for efficient competition by removing barriers to trade, such as unauthorized subsidies, selling below the price of goods, and harming the production and trade of countries. Solutions to unfair trade are also provided through defense tools such as compensatory tolls, anti-dumping measures or safeguards.
Maintaining different and special behaviors with developing countries and with the least degree of development in tolerating less change and in a longer period of time, and unilaterally, is another principle.
Finally, maintaining exceptions to the commitments accepted in the World Trade Organization for the sake of maintaining public order, ethics, human health, animals and plants, … or other exceptional conditions is considered as another basic principle of this organization.
The organization currently has 148 accepted members, and 33 observer members, of which 31 applicants from the recent group have begun accession negotiations. In addition, various international organizations (mainly affiliated organizations of the United Nations) also have observer status in this organization, as a whole or in general or in specific cases.