The World Trade Organization is both a set of documents and a multilateral treaty defining obligations and rights, and an organization. The scope of the WTO includes international trade in goods and services.
The legal framework of the WTO consists of the General Agreement on Trade in Goods GATT, GATT and GATT 1994, and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The main tasks of the WTO are the liberalization of intercity and international trade, the creation of a fair and predictable system that will contribute to the economic well-being of the people. WTO members monitor the implementation of multilateral agreements, conduct trade negotiations, provide assistance to various countries, and review the policies of states.
Decisions are usually taken by all member states. Most often, the consensus method is used, because it helps to rally the ranks of the WTO members. Decisions can be taken by a majority vote, however, this practice was not previously applied. The decisions of the highest level are taken by the Ministerial Conference, it meets at least once every two years.
Subordinate to the Ministerial Conference, there is a General Council, which is responsible for day-to-day work and meets at the headquarters in Geneva. Usually such meetings take place several times a year. It includes representatives of WTO members, ambassadors and heads of countries. The General Council also governs two special bodies, namely a trade policy review body and a dispute resolution body. Also, the HS is accountable to several committees: on restrictions that are related to the balance of trade; Trade and Development; on the budget, on finance and various administrative issues.
The General Council can delegate its powers to three councils: the Council for Trade in Goods, the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, and the Council for Trade in Services. Numerous committees and groups can deal with WTO agreements and issues in some areas. For example, in matters of environmental protection, problems of developing countries and others.
The WTO Secretariat, based in Geneva, has nearly 500 staff; the head is the general director. The WTO Secretariat does not make decisions (this function is vested in the participants themselves), but provides technical support to councils and committees (including the Ministerial Conference), provides technical assistance to underdeveloped countries, analyzes trade and explains WTO provisions to the public and the media. The Secretariat can also provide legal assistance in disputes and advise the governments of all countries that plan to join the WTO.