The WTO’s top decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference. Below this is the General Council and various other councils and committees
- Ministerial conferences
Ministerial conferences usually take place every two years.
The topmost decision-making body of the WTO is the Ministerial Conference, which usually meets every two years. It brings together all members of the WTO, all of which are countries or customs unions. The Ministerial Conference can take decisions on all matters under any of the multilateral trade agreements.
- General Council
The General Council is the top day-to-day decision-making body. It meets a number of times a year in Geneva.
- The General Council is the WTO’s highest-level decision-making body in Geneva, meeting regularly to carry out the functions of the WTO. It has representatives (usually ambassadors or equivalent) from all member governments and has the authority to act on behalf of the ministerial conference which only meets about every two years. The current chair is Ambassador Dacio CASTILLO (Honduras).
Work of the General Council and official documents
The General Council is entrusted with carrying out the functions of the WTO, and taking action necessary to this effect, in the intervals between meetings of the Ministerial Conference, in addition to carrying out the specific tasks assigned to it by the WTO Agreement.
- Working documents of the General Council (searches for document)
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The WTO derives most of the income for its annual budget from contributions by its members. These contributions are based on a formula that takes into account each member’s share of international trade
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the seventh Director-General of the WTO. She took office on 1 March 2021, becoming the first woman and the first African to serve as Director-General. Her term of office will expire on 31 August 2025.