Source :-world trade organisation
World Trade organisation (WTO) is the successor of General Agreement of Trade And Tariff(GATT) which was established in the year 1947 with an aim of reducing and eliminating the trade barriers all over the world. As GATT was limited in scope, there was a need of an organisation which expands with the changing world economy. Therefore, proposal for WTO came forward in an Uruguay round Agreement as a need of an International organization with an aim of helping the developing countries by liberalising trade all over the globe. So, in the Marrakesh Agreement, the WTO established on 1st january 1995, Geneva, Switzerland. It has 164 member till now, where Afghanistan is the 164 member which joined WTO in 2016[a]. Policy made by organisation if that violates any personal law of members nation that policy not implement over their personal law.
Recently WTO had to face many challenges as in the time of crisis where the trade is getting affected in a severe way. It’s current Director General Ricardo Azevedo chose to leave his place before an year, due to personal reasons and he also wanted to give a new face to the leader in the time of crisis . Therefore it’s a big challenge for WTO to choose the new Director General in this situation and also to bring harmony between countries and to deal with China’s tyrannical ways towards many countries.
In this period of COVID-19, the role of WTO also hiked to make effective rules for the trade in relation to medical facilities to support other countries .
Structure of the World Trade Organisation:
It is the top most body of WTO which is headed by the Director General where he not only administers the organisation but also to makes checks over the proper functioning of the organisation. The members meeting is held once in two years where discussion is held on how to make changes in policies of the member countries.
This is the permanent body of WTO which checks and balances the ministerial conference decision and WTO agreements on the regular basis.Genreal Council works on the behalf of ministerial conference when the conference not in session. Sitting occurs once in a month.
General Council has two wings :-
● The dispute settlement body.
● The Trade policy review body.
It means that GC holds the responsibility of dispute settlement body on one hand and on the other hand it acts as a Trade policy review body.
● This body consists of 3 councils namely, council for trade services, council for trade in goods and the council for Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights(TRIPS). These councils work in their respective departments.[b]
● It consists of 3 committees namely, committee on trade and development, committee on balance of payments restrictions and the committee on budget finance and administration.
Each committee organizes its own procedures and may establish further subsidiary committees if it seems fit. They also serve as the forum for discussions on ways to improve trade. And the Committees meet once every two to three months.
The WTO secretariat (numbering 625 of many nationalities) is headed by Director General who is appointed by Ministerial Conference. The Secretariat of the WTO is responsible for servicing the WTO bodies with respect to negotiations and the implementation of agreements.
WTO plays a major role in preventing disputes between nations. As growing economies, growth in trade increases too, which becomes a bone of contention for conflicts. Therefore the need for dispute settlement body arose higher, which is a central pillar for multilateral trading system. Dispute settlement body works in 2 ways: [c]
● By talking to countries and negotiating rules which are acceptable by all.
By proceeding to an appeal process in case the first way doesn’t give any results. In this way one party is proved wrong.
First stage (consultation): Here parties try to resolve their issues by talking to each other and if necessary they can ask Director General to mediate between them to resolve the issue. But if this stage doesn’t approach to any solution, parties move further. Period for their consulting is upto 60 days.
Second stage (Panel): After parties do not find any solution in the first stage, the dispute settlement body makes a panel within 45 days where the panel makes rules and recommendations for helping the dispute settlement body and the final report of panel is given to parties of conflict within a period of 6 months.
Third stage(appeal): If the parties do not agree with the panel's report, they make an appeal before the dispute settlement body within 60-90 days of panels report, where the body re-examines the issue and submits its report to the parties.
Fourth stage: Implementation of report given by Dispute settlement body ( DSB) to the parties than the parties act on the order of the DSB and issue get resolved but if parties not implement that report the situation of retaliation comes between the counties. Therefore to resolve the issue total time taken by organisation is 1year and 3 month with an appeal.
-  https://www.legalbites.in/world-trade-organisation-structure-functions/
Author -Jaishree Gautam BACL ( NAGPUR)