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History and Organizational Structure

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Chapter Summary

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is understood as the embodiment of a regime with corresponding institutional foundations and legal regulations. According to Art. II: 1 WTO Agreement, the WTO constitutes the common institutional framework for the conduct of trade relations among its Members in the areas set out in the individual agreements and associated legal instruments. The WTO has an extensively sub-divided structure, including the following three main bodies referred to in the WTO Agreement: the Ministerial Conference, serving as the representative body, the General Council as the executive body, and the Secretariat in charge of administrative affairs. According to Art. IX: 1 WTO Agreement, the WTO shall continue the practice of decision-making by consensus. In this consensus procedure a proposed decision is considered to be adopted when no Member explicitly objects. The special significance of the WTO consists in its establishment of a legal order for world economic relations.

Keywords: decision-making; world economic relations; world trade order; World Trade Organization (WTO)



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