The WTO Marrakesh Agreement: A Comprehensive Guide
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is a multilateral organization established in 1995 to regulate and promote international trade among its member countries. The WTO Marrakesh Agreement, signed on April 15th, 1994 in Marrakesh, Morocco, is the establishing document of the WTO. It sets out the principles, rules, and procedures of the organization and provides a framework for trade negotiations.
The Marrakesh Agreement consists of several documents, including the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, the Annexes, and the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. The full text of the Agreement and its annexes is available in a PDF format on the WTO website.
The Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization lays out the basic principles of the organization, including its objectives, functions, and institutional framework. It also establishes the WTO`s dispute settlement mechanism and specifies the procedures for accession to the organization.
The Annexes to the Marrakesh Agreement are a set of separate agreements that provide detailed rules and regulations for specific areas of international trade. These include the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the Agreement on Agriculture, the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS).
The Ministerial Declarations and Decisions are documents issued by the WTO`s Ministerial Conference, which is the highest decision-making body of the organization. These documents provide guidance and instructions on specific issues related to international trade and WTO activities. They are not legally binding, but they reflect the consensus views of the WTO membership.
The WTO Marrakesh Agreement has played a significant role in shaping the global trading system. It has facilitated the reduction of trade barriers, the liberalization of markets, and the expansion of international trade. The WTO`s dispute settlement mechanism, established under the Marrakesh Agreement, has also been instrumental in resolving trade disputes among member countries.
In conclusion, the WTO Marrakesh Agreement is a crucial document that defines the principles and rules of the WTO and provides a framework for promoting international trade. The PDF version of the Agreement and its annexes is available on the WTO website, and it is a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the workings of the WTO and the global trading system.