THE WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION
The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established and incorporated in January 1st 1995 at the amendment of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) in 1994 with the aim of regulating international trade. The creation of this organization clearly underscored the acceptance and commitment of trade liberalization by most of the international communities. Upon signing and ratifying the WTO Agreement, each member state of the WTO committed itself through a series of agreements to ultimately liberalize its trade in goods, services and trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. Each member state signed the WTO Understanding on Rules and ...view middle of the document...
Gilpin reported that the WTO had incorporated many of the GATT’s rules and practices, but the legal mandate and institutional structure (more extensive and binding rules) of the WTO were designed to enable it to play a much more important role in governance of international commerce in comparison to the GATT.
The major function of the WTO is to assure that trading conditions are stable, predictable and transparent (Steiner and Steiner 2006). The WTO has many objectives; with the most important being the administering and the implementation of several trade agreements and trade rules which were built over a 50-year period under the operations of the GATT. Other agreements administered include those concerned with food safety laws, product standards, telecommunications, finance and intellectual properties. Other objectives include:
* The provision of a forum for trade negotiations;
* Arbitration of trade disputes;
* Monitoring national trade policies;
* Providing technical assistance to developing countries; and
* Co-operating with other international organizations.
The WTO is currently run by member governments associated with the organization. The WTO is chaired by the Ministerial Conference, which is the highest decision making body of the organization. This body endeavours to implement important policy decisions by consensus with the aid of members as a whole, ministers (who meet at least once every two years) or by respective delegates who meet regularly in Geneva. The General Council is a division which manages the WTO in the intervals between Ministerial Conferences. This meeting is attended by ambassadors and heads of delegations in the domicile of the WTO where it converges several times a year. Representatives of other member states may be allowed to partake in the proceedings of the Council. Surveillance of national trade policies is an important activity throughout the operations of the WTO. In order to control these issues the Council convenes as another entity commonly known as the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). This body revises various trade policies under the Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) which in turn reviews all WTO members. Frequency of each country’s review is based according to its share of world trade.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Established in 1961, this organization seeks to promote the conservation of the world’s biological diversity and the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organizations
Founded in 1955 and most commonly referred to as AFL-CIO, this is a national trade union centre and is the largest federation of unions in the United States. It is made up of 54 national and international unions which together represent more than 10 million workers. From 1955 until 2005, the AFL-CIO's member unions represented nearly all unionized workers in the United States.
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