WTO – World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization was created in form of a binding treaty among member states in 1995. It emerged out of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which had existed since 1948. Until now, 159 countries have joined the WTO. The organization operates as a system of trade rules that are supposed to facilitate free and fair trade. As such it is also a forum for trade negotiations - currently under the Doha Development Agenda. Other important operational functions are trade dispute settlement mechanisms and a body to review the trade policy of each of its member countries.
FES Geneva is seeking to build capacity in developing countries as regards WTO issues.
FES Geneva has been working together with the WTO Secretariat for more than a decade. The cooperation started as a media information project for journalists from developing countries, aiming at providing them with first-hand information on current trade issues at the WTO Secretariat in Geneva as well as during Ministerial Conferences. Since then, FES and the WTO Secretariat have been intensifying their collaboration by jointly organizing international workshops on specific topics, expert meetings, and regional Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues mainly in developing countries.
In addition, FES Geneva runs - in collaboration with the ACP Secretariat in Geneva - an Internship Program for young professionals from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries focusing on WTO negotiations.