Globalization and Access to Drugs. Perspectives on the WTO/TRIPS Agreement - Health Economics and Drugs Series, No. 007 (Revised)
(1998; 97 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentAbbreviations and acronyms
Close this folderPART I: GLOBALIZATION AND ACCESS TO DRUGS: IMPLICATIONS OF THE WTO/TRIPS AGREEMENT
View the documentExecutive summary
View the documentIntroduction
Close this folder1. Brief historical background to the international trading system
View the document1.1 The simultaneous creation of the GATT, the IMF and the World Bank
Open this folder and view contents1.2 The objectives, nature and functioning of the GATT
Close this folder1.3 The Uruguay Round and the creation of the WTO
View the documentThe new global economic environment
View the documentLong and difficult negotiations
View the documentThe results of the Uruguay Round: strengthening and enlargement of the multilateral trade system
View the documentHow does the WTO differ from the GATT?
View the document1.4 The protection of intellectual property rights before the WTO
Open this folder and view contents2. Reading the TRIPS Agreement from the perspective of access to drugs
Open this folder and view contents3. Conclusions: issues at stake and constraints on access to drugs
View the documentDefinitions and terminology4
Open this folder and view contentsSelected bibliography5
Open this folder and view contentsPART II: PRESENTATIONS AT THE AD HOC WORKING GROUP ON THE REVISED DRUG STRATEGY HELD IN GENEVA ON 13 OCTOBER 1998
View the documentOther documents in the DAP - Health Economics and Drugs Series
View the documentBack cover
 
How does the WTO differ from the GATT?

The WTO is not simply a continuation of the GATT; it has a completely different character. The main differences are as follows:

• The GATT was a series of rules, a multilateral agreement without an institutional foundation and with just an ad hoc secretariat, originating from the attempt to establish an International Trade Organization in the 1940s. The WTO is a permanent institution with its own secretariat.

• The GATT was applied on a “provisional basis” even if, after more than 40 years of existence, governments came to regard it as a permanent commitment. Commitments entered into under the aegis of the WTO exist in their own right and are permanent.

• The GATT rules applied to trade in goods. The WTO covers not just goods, but also trade in services and trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights.

• The GATT was originally a multilateral instrument but, towards the 1980s, several new agreements of a plurilateral and hence optional nature were added to it. The agreements* on which the WTO is founded are almost all multilateral and therefore carry with them commitments to which all Members have subscribed.

• The WTO system for the settlement* of disputes is faster and more automatic, and thus less susceptible to blockages than the former GATT system. The implementation of the decisions resulting from the WTO settlement of disputes will be better assured.

The WTO fulfils five essential tasks:

1. Administration of the new multilateral trade agreements.
2. Provision of a forum for fresh negotiations.
3. Settlement of disputes.
4. Surveillance of national trade policies.
5. Cooperation with other international bodies in drawing up of economic policies at the global level.

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