The WTO General Council

The General Council is the WTO’s highest-level decision-making body in Geneva, meeting regularly to carry out the functions of the WTO. It has representatives (usually ambassadors or equivalent) from all member governments and has the authority to act on behalf of the ministerial conference which only meets about every two years. The current chair is .

The General Council also meets, under different rules, as the Dispute Settlement Body and as the Trade Policy Review Body.

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> Work of the General Council in the WTO, below

> Current WTO chairpersons


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Information about the General Council
Links to the General Council section of the WTO guide “Understanding the WTO”.


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The mandate 

Agreement establishing the WTO — a summary

Browse or download the text of the “Agreement Establishing the WTO” from the legal texts gateway


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Work of the General Council and official documents 

The General Council is entrusted with carrying out the functions of the WTO, and taking action necessary to this effect, in the intervals between meetings of the Ministerial Conference, in addition to carrying out the specific tasks assigned to it by the WTO Agreement.

> See also General Council news, above


Official documents of the General Council

Search Documents Online
General Council documents use the code WT/GC/* (where * takes additional values)
These links open a new window: allow a moment for the results to appear.

> help with downloading these documents

  • Annual reports of the General Council (Document code WT/GC/* and Annual reports)   > search
  • Minutes of the General Council meetings (Document code WT/GC/M/*)   > search
  • Working documents of the General Council (searches for document code WT/GC/W/*)
      > search
  • Proposed Agenda of the General Council meetings (Document code WT/GC/W/* and “Proposed Agenda”)   > search

You can perform more sophisticated searches from the Documents Online search facility (opens in new window) by defining multiple search criteria such as document symbol (i.e. code number), full text search or document date.

General Council ePortal (GCeP)



> See General Council news archive for older meetings