WHAT IS WTO?[i]
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business.[ii]
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that regulates and facilitates international trade between nations. Governments use the organization to establish, revise, and enforce the rules that govern international trade. It officially commenced operations on 1 January 1995, pursuant to the 1994 Marrakesh Agreement, thus replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that had been established in 1948. The WTO is the world’s largest international economic organization, with 164 member states representing over 98% of global trade and global GDP.
The WTO facilitates trade in goods, services and intellectual property among participating countries by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements, which usually aim to reduce or eliminate tariffs, quotas, and other restrictions; these agreements are signed by representatives of member governments and ratified by their legislatures. The WTO also administers independent dispute resolution for enforcing participants’ adherence to trade agreements and resolving trade-related disputes. The organization prohibits discrimination between trading partners, but provides exceptions for environmental protection, national security, and other important goals.
The WTO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Its top decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference, which is composed of all member states and usually convenes biennially; consensus is emphasized in all decisions.
WHAT DOES WTO STANDS FOR?[iii]
The WTO agreements are lengthy and complex because they are legal texts covering a wide range of activities. But a number of simple, fundamental principles run throughout all of these documents. These principles are the foundation of the multilateral trading system. There are a number of ways of looking at the World Trade Organization. It is an organization for trade opening. It is a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements. It is a place for them to settle trade disputes. It operates a system of trade rules. Essentially, the WTO is a place where member governments try to sort out the trade problems, they face with each other.
FUNCTIONS OF WTO
Some of the most important functions of World Trade Organization are:
- It oversees the implementation, administration and operation of the covered agreements (with the exception is that it does not enforce any agreements when China came into the WTO in Dec 2001)
- It provides a forum for negotiations and for settling disputes.
- It is WTO’s duty to review and propagate the national trade policies and to ensure the coherence and transparency of trade policies through surveillance in global economic policy-making.
- It is WTO’s role to give assistance of developing, least-developed and low-income countries in transition to adjust to WTO rules and disciplines through technical cooperation and training.
- The WTO shall facilitate the implementation, administration, and operation and further the objectives of this Agreement and the Multilateral Trade Agreements, and shall also provide the framework for the implementation, administration, and operation of the multilateral Trade Agreements.
- The WTO shall provide the forum for negotiations among its members concerning their multilateral trade relations in matters dealt with under the Agreement in the Annexes to this Agreement.
- The WTO shall administer the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes.
- The WTO shall administer a Trade Policy Review Mechanism.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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