UNDERSTANDING THE WTO: THE ORGANIZATION

WTO organization chart

The WTO’s top-level decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference, which usually meets every two years. Below this is the General Council (normally ambassadors and heads of delegation in Geneva, and sometimes officials sent from members’ capitals), which meets several times a year in the Geneva headquarters. The General Council also meets as the Trade Policy Review Body and the Dispute Settlement Body.

At the next level, the Goods Council, Services Council and Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Council report to the General Council. Numerous specialized committees, working groups and working parties deal with the individual agreements and other areas such as the environment, development, membership applications and regional trade agreements. All WTO members may participate in all councils and committees, with the exceptions of the Appellate Body, Dispute Settlement panels and plurilateral committees.

 

More introductory information

The organization chart below can also be downloaded in a print-friendly pdf version:

Trade and Environment Trade and Development Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries Regional Trade Agreements Balance of Payments Restrictions Budget, Finance and Administration Accession Trade, debt and finance Trade and technology transfer Relationship between Trade and Investment Interaction between Trade and Competition Policy Information Technology Agreement Committee Ministerial Conference General Council General Council meeting as Dispute Settlement Body General Council meeting as Trade Policy Review Body Appellate Body Dispute settlement panels Council for Trade in Goods Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Council for Trade in Services Trade in Civil Aircraft Committee Government Procurement Committee Trade Negotiations Committee Market Access Agriculture Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Technical Barriers to Trade Trade Facilitation Trade-Related Investment Measures Participants on the Expansion of Trade in Information Technology Products State Trading Enterprises Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Anti-Dumping Practices Customs Valuation Rules of Origin Safeguards Import Licensing Trade in Financial Services Specific Commitments Specific Commitments Domestic Regulation Gats Rules Trade Negotiations Committee and its bodies Services Council TRIPS Council Dispute Settlement Body Agriculture Committee Market Access Rules Trade and Development Committee Trade and Environment Committee

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