Decision-Making Procedures Under Articles IX and XII of the WTO Agreement
The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established in 1995 to provide a forum for multilateral trade negotiations and to promote free trade among its member countries. As a result, the WTO agreement has certain provisions regarding decision-making procedures that are outlined in Articles IX and XII.
Article IX: Decision-Making Procedures
Article IX of the WTO agreement provides guidelines for the decision-making procedures that are used within the organization. According to this article, all decisions must be made by consensus among the members of the WTO. This ensures that all members have an opportunity to voice their opinions and that decisions are made in the best interest of all members.
In addition to consensus, Article IX also allows for the use of voting as a last resort if consensus cannot be reached. However, it should be noted that any decision made by voting requires a three-fourths majority of the members present and voting.
Article XII: Decision-Making Procedures for Specific Measures
Article XII of the WTO agreement provides specific guidelines for decision-making procedures when dealing with certain measures. This article applies to measures that may be taken by members to protect their national security interests.
According to Article XII, any member that takes a measure to protect its national security interests must immediately notify the WTO of the measure and the reasons for it. After notification, the measure must be reviewed by the WTO to ensure that it is consistent with the provisions of the WTO agreement.
If a member believes that the measure is not consistent with the WTO agreement, it may request consultations with the member that took the measure. If consultations do not resolve the issue, the matter may be referred to a dispute settlement panel, which will make a final decision on the matter.
In conclusion, decision-making procedures under Articles IX and XII of the WTO agreement are designed to ensure that all members have an opportunity to voice their opinions and that decisions are made in the best interest of all members. By following these guidelines, the WTO is able to promote free trade and multilateral trade negotiations among its member countries.