Visit the Web site of the World Trade Organization (www.wto.org). It is a practical, user-friendly guide that offers complete information on the WTO’s role and organizational structure as well as access to the GATT legal texts and dispute settlement cases.
a. As a beginning point, and for an easy-tounderstand introduction to the WTO, navigate to the section entitled Resources and click Webcasting. This page provides access to Webcasts of major world trade events and a series of excellently produced training films. Be sure to watch Basic Principles of the WTO System by Pieter Jan Kuijper.
b. For an interactive training module covering the technical aspects of the WTO, navigate to Resources and click WTO Distance Learning. For an overview, see Multimedia Presentations.
c. For links to all GATT/WTO agreements from 1947 to the present, navigate to Documents and choose either Legal Texts or Official Documents, which is a portal to the Documents Online database. Accessing WTO materials through the Legal Texts page is quick and easy. You can find Web documents either by browsing or searching.
d. For access to WTO trade issues, including trade in goods, services, intellectual property, electronic commerce, investment, government procurement, trade and the environment, and dispute settlement, navigate to Trade Topics and choose a subject.
e. The highest decision-making body of the WTO is the Ministerial Conference, which brings together all members of the WTO for meetings every two years. The Ministerial Conference can make decisions on all matters under any of the multilateral trade agreements. Ministerial Conferences have been held in Hong Kong (2005), Cancún (2003), Doha (2001), Seattle (1999), Geneva (1998), and Singapore (1996). From the Trade Topics menu, navigate to Ministerial Conferences. What is on the current Ministerial agenda?
f. For access to the reports of WTO dispute settlement panels and the Appellate Body, from the home page navigate to Trade Topics > Dispute Settlement > The Disputes. From here you may search either chronologically, by country, or by subject. Notice that disputes are cited as DS followed by a number. The numbers are sequential; for example, DS1 designates the first dispute filed in 1995. Citations for panel reports will generally appear as WT/DS#/R, and reports of the Appellate Body will appear as WT/DS#/AB/R.