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.