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Single undertaking Article II “…2.The agreements and associated legal instruments included in Annexes 1, 2 and 3 (hereinafter referred to as "Multilateral.

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Presentation on theme: "Single undertaking Article II “…2.The agreements and associated legal instruments included in Annexes 1, 2 and 3 (hereinafter referred to as "Multilateral."— Presentation transcript:

1 Single undertaking Article II “…2.The agreements and associated legal instruments included in Annexes 1, 2 and 3 (hereinafter referred to as "Multilateral Trade Agreements") are integral parts of this Agreement, binding on all Members. 3. The …."Plurilateral Trade Agreements" are also part of this Agreement for those Members that have accepted them, and are binding on those Members. The Plurilateral Trade Agreements do not create either obligations or rights for Members that have not accepted them”.

2 Single undertaking (II) “Article XVI Miscellaneous Provisions …5.No reservations may be made in respect of any provision of this Agreement. Reservations in respect of any of the provisions of the Multilateral Trade Agreements may only be made to the extent provided for in those Agreements. Reservations in respect of a provision of a Plurilateral Trade Agreement shall be governed by the provisions of that Agreement”.

3 Functions of the WTO Art. III of the WTO Agreement: 1) The WTO shall facilitate the implementation, administration and operation, and further the objectives, of this Agreement and of the Multilateral Trade Agreements, and shall also provide the framework for the implementation, administration and operation of the Plurilateral Trade Agreements.

4 Functions of the WTO (II) Bodies responsible for implementation: Ministerial Conference (interpretation of the WTO agreements  binding on all Members), General Council (day-to-day management); Specialised Councils and Committees: they oversee the application of specific agreements and make recommendations about interpretation of the agreements; no adoption of decisions; WTO Secretariat: technical assistance, esp. to least-developed countries

5 Functions of the WTO (III) 2 “The WTO may also provide a forum for further negotiations among its Members concerning their multilateral trade relations, and a framework for the implementation of the results of such negotiations….”. Negotiation of new agreements: permanent forum for negotiations  Doha Development Round (2001-)  divide on major issues (agriculture, trade in services etc.). Ministerial Conference: it has also the power of adopting amendments to existing agreements.

6 Functions of the WTO (IV) 3) “The WTO shall administer the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes…”. Dispute settlement is a major innovation in the WTO system; it is administered by the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) under the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU). Goals: 1) to preserve rights and obligations of the Members; 2) to clarify the provisions of WTO agreements.

7 Functions of the WTO (V) 4) “The WTO shall administer the Trade Policy Review Mechanism….”. Trade policy review under the Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM): regular collective appreciation of individual Members’ trade policies and practices in the light of the multilateral trading system.

8 Functions of the WTO (VI) 5) Cooperation with other international organisations: A) “the WTO shall cooperate, as appropriate, with the International Monetary Fund and with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and its affiliated agencies” (art. III.5). IMF and WB have observer status in the WTO; conversely, WTO attends the meetings of the IMF and the WB; close cooperation in the field of technical assistance to least- developed countries under the Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance.

9 Functions of the WTO (VII) “The General Council shall make appropriate arrangements for effective cooperation with other intergovernmental organizations that have responsibilities related to those of the WTO ” (art. V.1). Arrangements with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) and UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development); arrangement with UN (WTO cooperates with ECOSOC and takes part to Chief Executive Board); Memoranda of Understanding with other organisations.

10 Functions of the WTO (VIII) “The General Council may make appropriate arrangements for consultation and cooperation with non-governmental organizations concerned with matters related to those of the WTO” (art. V.2). Consultations and cooperation with NGOs: they attend sessions of Ministerial Conference, have frequent contact with the WTO Secretariat; regular briefings are held for NGOs on the work of WTO organs.

11 Membership (I) Membership (currently 159 Members): who can be a Member? -States; -separate customs territory (Macao, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei) -European Union. Different categories of Members.

12 Membership (II) A) Original Members (Art. XI): the Contracting Parties to GATT 1947 on 1st January 1995 (122); original membership was not automatic but it could be accepted until March 1997 (only Yugoslavia didn’t accept)

13 Membership (III) The European Communities are original Member, too: the EC concluded the WTO agreement as a mixed agreement, which was ratified also by the Member States, because it was partly outside the competence of the European Communities.

14 Membership (IV) B) Acceded Members (Art. XII): WTO agreement is an open multilateral treaty. An application for accession is needed: the candidate State will have to accept the terms of the WTO Agreement and of the Multilateral Trade Agreements and to make market access commitments and concessions.

15 Membership (V) Lengthy negotiations: -the shortest negotiation: Kyrgyz Republic, 2 years and 10 months; -accession of Algeria is being negotiated since 1987; -the negotiations for accession of China lasted 15 years; -negotiations with Russia lasted 18 years.

16 Membership (VI) Accession process: –report and examination of candidates’ trade and economic policies; –negotiation about market access commitments and concessions; –drafting of protocol of accession and schedules of market access commitments and concessions; –decision of the Ministerial Conference (or General Council) about accession.

17 Withdrawal “Any Member may withdraw from this Agreement. Such withdrawal shall apply both to this Agreement and the Multilateral Trade Agreements and shall take effect upon the expiration of six months from the date on which written notice of withdrawal is received by the Director-General of the WTO” (Art. XV).

18 Expulsion The WTO Agreement does not provide for expulsion in case of serious breaches of the WTO agreements or gross violations of human rights or acts of aggression. UN sanctions may have effects on trade.

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