Complete information Structure of The Ministerial Conference

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The Ministerial Conference:

The Ministerial Conference (MC) is the highest body. It is composed of the representative of the Members. The MC is the executive of WTO and responsible for carrying out the functions of the WTO. It has the authority to take decisions in any matter under the relevant Multilateral Trade Agreement (MTA). It shall meet at least once every two years.

The General Council:

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The General Council (GC) is an executive forum composed of representatives of all the Members. It discharges the functions of the MC during intervals between the meetings of the MC. The GC shall meet as and when appropriate and necessary. It also arranges effective co-operation with other inter-governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations which have responsibility related to those of the WTO.

The GC established its own rules of procedures and also approves the rules of procedures for the functional Councils. There is also responsible for:

1. The discharge of the responsibilities of the Dispute Settlement Body.

2. The discharge of the responsibilities of the Trade Policy Review Body.

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The Functional Council shall have three Functional Councils working under its guidance and supervision.

These are:

(a) Council for Trade in Goods (for overseeing the functioning of the MTA relating to Trade in Goods)

(b) Council for Trade in Services (for overseeing the functioning of the MTA relating to Trade in Services)

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(c) Council for Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (for overseeing the functioning of connected with Intellectual Property Rights and obligations)

These Councils establish their own rules of procedure subject to the approval of the GC. Membership of these Councils is open to representative of all Members. These will meet as necessary.

Subsidiary Bodies of the Councils: These Councils can establish subsidiary Bodies which establish their respective rules of procedure subject to the approval of their respective Councils.

Functional Committees under MC: The Ministerial Conference (MC) establishes the functional Committees for discharge of functions assigned to them under MTAs. These committees are:

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(a) Committee on Trade and Development.

(b) Committee on Balance of Payments Restrictions.

(c) Committee on Budget, Finance and Administration.

These committees also discharge functions specifically assigned to them by the General Council. These are open to representatives of all members.

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Disputes settlement body: Under the WTO, there is a Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) which is the custodian of the Dispute Settlement System. The DSB has been empowered to establish panels, constitute Appellate Body, adopt panel and Appellate Body Reports, exercise surveillance for compliance with rules and recommendations and authorize retaliatory measures in cases of non-implementation of recommenda­tion. The General Council is responsible for the discharge of responsibilities of the Dispute Settlement Body.

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