The entrance to the Centre William Rappard
Welcome to the Centre William Rappard, the
home of the World Trade Organization. Testimony to over seventy years
of inter-national co-operation, the Centre William Rappard (CWR) was
conceived as part of the effort after World War I to create a League
of Nations and related institutions that would encourage multilateral
exchanges and favour the peaceful resolution of human conflicts.
This building was the first erected in
Geneva specifically to house an inter-
national organization. The many works of art and decorative items
donated by countries over the years underline the collaborative effort
its construction represented to the world, at a time when
co-operation was still an aspiration rather than a reality.
At various points in its history, the
building has been home to the International Labour Office, the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the library of the Institut
Universitaire de Hautes ╔tudes Internationales and the Secretariat of
the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which, prior to the
creation of the WTO, had responsibility for the global trading system.
Since 1995, it has been the headquarters of the WTO.
The Wyndham White meeting room, with designated seating for WTO
Every day trade diplomats and the WTO
Secretariat staff congregate in the Centre William Rappard to discuss
trade policy, negotiate rules and seek to resolve disputes that are
linked to the trade agreements which constitute the body of
international trade law developed since 1947. There are 21 meeting
rooms in the CWR and the adjacent conference center, with a capacity
to accommodate gatherings ranging from 580 to 12 participants.
The building has 1,300 windows, 1,000 doors
and 2.2 kilometres of corridors. The main governing bodies of the WTO
meet in the two largest rooms: the Salle Wyndham White in the main CWR
and the Conference Room in the new conference center.