E-encyclopedia of banking, stock exchange and finance

Selected letter: W



    Derivatives are useful instruments for managing risk. They allow companies to hedge certain types of financial risk, such as their exposure to foreign exchange rates or commodities prices, in the same way that they might enter into an insurance contract to protect themselves from nonfinancial risks, such as theft or floods. If used in this way, derivatives reduce the risks of economic factors and promote economic stability.


    A warrant is a security similar to a stock option that grants the holder the right to purchase (call) or sell (put) a specified security at a fixed price, usually at a fixed date. It is equivalent to a stock option and is generally used by firms to make their debt issue more attractive or to raise capital. Warrants can be detached from the bond and traded separately on stock exchanges. Warrants differ from either convertible or exchangeable bonds in that they allow the holders to the common stock of a firm other than the issuer’s.

    Editor: Bianca GIANNINI
    © 2010 ASSONEB


    Waste (or wastes) are unwanted or unusable materials. Waste is any substance which is discarded after primary use, or is worthless, defective and of no use.

    Examples include municipal solid waste (household trash/refuse), hazardous waste, wastewater (such as sewage, which contains bodily wastes (feces and urine) and surface runoff), radioactive waste, and others.


    Waste management defines the whole cycle from "collection, transport, recovery and disposal of waste, including the supervision of such operations and the after-care of disposal sites, and including actions taken as a dealer or broker" (Direttiva 2008/98/CE del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio del 19 novembre 2008). The object called WASTE refers to any substance that the holder, the one who produces or naturally or legally possesses the waste, discards or intends or is required to discard. In the amount of waste two categories appear totally opposite and that incorporate hazardous waste, potential dangerous for environment and human health, and bio-waste, which means biodegradable substances, like garden and food waste. Waste is produced, then can be object of a deal, purchased or sold by the dealer who does not necessarily possess physically the waste. The recovery or the disposal of waste is arranged on behalf of others by the brokers, including those do not take physical possess of the waste. The process starts with the gathering of the waste, including the preliminary sorting and storage of it for the purposes of transport to a waste treatment facility. Substances are divided by type and nature to facilitate the following specific treatments. Measure of prevention are taken to reduce the quantity of waste, the negative impacts on the environment and human health or the contents of harmful substances. Reintroducing the waste into the product cycle by recycling its components, that means reprocessing waste materials for the original or other purposes, represents a viable solution where there are ecological and economical methods to do it. Operations allowing waste recovery, permit waste serving a useful purpose by replacing other materials in the plant or in the wider economy. Also a recovery action means preparing waste to a specific function.

    Editor: Marianna RONCHINI 2012


    Tipo di petrolio trattato sul mercato USA, conosciuto anche come Texas Light Sweet. Viene utilizzato come greggio di riferimento nel mercato petrolifero del Nord e Sud America ed è quotato alla borsa di New York (NYMEX) dal 1983. WTI è considerato un petrolio "dolce", avendo nella sua composizione circa lo 0.24% di zolfo, concentrazione maggiore rispetto, ad esempio, al greggio del Mar del Nord (Brent crude).
    Editor: Claudio DICEMBRINO
    © 2009 ASSONEBB


    It is a process consisting of a sequence of uncorrelated identically distributed random variables, with zero mean and variance ??2.

    The auto-covariance expression can be represented as:

    therefore we can assume that is a weakly stationary process; furthermore, the autocorrelation function will be:

    If ?t has normal distribution N(0,??2), it will be a strongly stationary process and takes the name of Gaussian white noise.

    Editor: Giuliano DI TOMMASO


    Acronym for: When-Issued Market. It is a component of the Treasury securities secondary market. In the WI market, investors can purchase treasuries from the date the auction is announced until the beginning of the Treasury issuance. In general, WI market transaction settlements occur at the issue date.


    Fabozzi F., Modigliani F., Jones F. (2010), Foundation of Financial Markets and Institutions, Pearson International Edition.

    Editor: Bianca GIANNINI
    © 2010 ASSONEBB

  • WIEN CONVENTION (Encyclopedia)



    The Wien Convention (Convention) on contracts for the international sale of goods, adopted by the United Nations in 1980, is a uniform law convention, thus incorporated in the legal systems of the contracting states. The Convention was drafted by UNCITRAL during a period of ten years and it substituted two 1964 Hague uniform law conventions (on the international sale of goods and on the formation of contracts for the international sale of goods), which had been ratified by very few states. About 70 states, from different geographic areas and juridical traditions, have currently ratified the Convention.
    The Convention entered into force in Italy on 1 January 1988 and it is fully applied as for our country, as Italy has not utilised the possibility of not applying Section Two or Section Three of the Convention.
    The Convention applies to contracts for the international sale of goods, entered into between parties having their respective place of business in different states when these are contracting states or when conflict of law rules lead to the application of the law of a contracting state. Parties can, nevertheless, exclude fully or partially the application of the Convention. When this happens, the applicable law is to be determined according to private international law, including the 1980 Rome Convention or, for contracts entered into after 17 December 2009, Regulation (CE) 592/2008, also known as “Rome I”.
    The Convention rules on the formation of the contract of sale and on the rights and duties arising between seller and buyer, while it does not concern the validity of the contract and its effects on the sold goods. As for issues not regulated by the Convention (such as transfer of property and determination of the price), private international law of the concerned states will apply.

    General principles

    Concept of sale

    The Convention does not provide a definition of sale. Nevertheless, scholars prevalently believe that, based on the reciprocal duties established between the parties, a sale can be defined as the contract according to which the seller undertakes to deliver goods and the related documents and to transfer property, while the buyer undertakes to take delivery and pay the price (Articles 30 and 53).
    Other scholars, considering that Article 3 of the Convention also includes an obligation of facere, note that the notion of sale can also include the provision of goods that are still to be manufactured at the time the contract is entered into, unless the materials are provided by the party ordering the goods; in the latter case, the obligation of facere would be prevailing, thus excluding the contract from the application of the Convention under paragraph 2 of Article 3. Therefore, the issue of prevalence of materials on work, which in the Italian law is taken into consideration by distinguishing the sale from the procurement, is relevant for the Convention only when the material is provided by the party ordering the good.
    The Convention also rules on contracts modifying an international sale contract, on preliminary contracts, and … according to some scholars … on supply contracts. Article 2 consists of a list of contracts explicitly excluded.

    Application of the Convention

    For a sale - as defined above - to fall under the application of the Convention, it shall first of all be international, which means that, according to Article 1, paragraph 1, the parties must have their places of business in different contracting States (the nationality of the parties is irrelevant). A place of business can be not only the main seat of a company, but also the secondary ones. On the other hand, the seat of the agent who entered a contract in the name of another party is not relevant. When the party does not have a place of business, the habitual residence is taken into account (Article 10, paragraph 2). The internationality of the sale as defined shall be known by the parties (Article 1, paragraph 2).
    If the contract is international, one of two additional criteria established in Article 1, paragraph one shall also be satisfied:
    i) the States where the parties have their place of business must be contracting States; or
    ii) Conflict of law rules must lead to the application of the law of a contracting State1.
    Even when these criteria are fulfilled, according to Article 6, the parties can exclude, fully or partially, the execution of the Convention. In that case, the law resulting from a domestic conflict of law rules or international convention will apply (which typically recognises the principle of freedom of choice by the parties and, more recently in EC Regulations, protection of the weaker party2).
    The exclusion of the Convention can also be implicit, if the wish of the parties can be identified clearly. To this end, the designation of a specific domestic law is not sufficient, as the Convention, once ratified, becomes an integral part of the juridical system of the contracting State. Thus, the law of the designated State would apply to all issues not regulated by the Convention, which would otherwise apply.
    Finally, even when the Convention does not apply according to the above criteria, the parties can decide to apply it on a contractual basis. In this case, compulsory domestic provisions prevail over the Convention.

    Form of the contract and of communications between the parties

    According to Article 11, the contract is not subject to any formal requirement, neither for its validity nor for its proof, except for the faculty of the party to agree on subjecting its modification to the written form (Article 29, paragraph 2). The freedom of forms does not, however, apply to contracts where at least one party has its place of business in a contracting State that has rendered the declaration referred to in Article 123.
    As for communications during the validity of the contract, the Convention explicitly recognises the relevance of telegrams and telexes. It is commonly recognised that fax communications are also valid, while more uncertainty persists concerning electronic communications.


    Interpretation is ruled by Article 7, according to which it is necessary to promote, as far as possible, a uniform international interpretation of the Convention. This has led courts to rule that the judge shall take into account decisions by foreign courts, although not being bound by them4. Also, the interpretation of the Convention should be as far as possible based on the Convention itself and its general principles, rather than on domestic interpretative rules. The explicit reference to good faith in the Convention excludes a purely formalistic interpretation. As for the interpretation of the contract, subjective interpretation prevails over objective interpretation, with the objective meaning of a clause prevailing only when it is not possible to identify a common intention of the parties.


    Usages are of great importance in international trade, having been explicitly recognised in international conventions and representing the substantial base of the discussion concerning a new Lex Mercatoria. Coherently with the relevance recognised to international usages, the Convention presumes a tacit agreement by the parties to consider the usages they knew or ought to know and which are typical of a certain trade (Article 9).

    Formation of the contract

    The formation is ruled in Part II of the Convention (Articles 14-24), with detailed rules on the offer, its validity and withdrawal, and acceptance. The general principle is that the contract is concluded when acceptance is effective according to the Convention (Article 23).

    Main provisions

    Obligations of the parties

    Given its nature of uniform law convention, a large part of the Convention … Articles 30 to 44 … concerns the reciprocal obligations of the parties.
    As for the seller, its typical obligation is to deliver the goods, transfer the property and, the case being, deliver the documents relating to them (Article 30). The delivery of goods is ruled in Articles 31 to 34, which is particularly important with regard to the liability of the seller in case of loss or problems concerning the delivery.
    The conformity of the goods is ruled in Articles 35 to 44. The overall non-formalistic approach of the Convention is confirmed, as non-conformity only arises in the case of non-fitness with the ordinary or specifically agreed use for the goods. The notice of the lack of conformity is to be served within a reasonable time from when the lack of conformity was discovered or ought to be discovered (Article 39).
    The goods shall be delivered free of any right or claim of a third party, unless the buyer agrees on getting the goods in such conditions (Articles 41-43).
    As for the buyer, the Convention establishes the duties to pay the price and to take delivery (Article 53). Specific rules concern the determination of a price that has not been explicitly agreed in the contract5. Finally, a specific section rules the obligation of the buyer to take delivery, which includes the duty of doing all the acts that could reasonably be expected of him/her in order to allow delivery.
    A specific section rules third party claims6.


    As a general rule, avoidance of contract is only allowed as an extrema ratio against a breach of contract. Thus, Article 25 requires not only that the breach be fundamental, but also that the party in breach be aware (or ought to be aware) of its being fundamental.
    The Convention also provides for other remedies, based on the kind and seriousness of the breach or non-compliance. It is, thus, possible to allow the seller a reasonable additional term for compliance (Article 47) or to remedy its failure, at certain conditions7, even after the date of delivery (Article 48). Lack of conformity allows the buyer to reduce the price (Article 50), while partial delivery can allow partial avoidance (Article 51).
    1The applicability of the Convention can, thus, also result from the choice of law rules established by the Rome Convention or the “Rome I” Regulation, or The Hague Convention of 15 June 1955.
    2This is particularly the case for Articles 5 and 6 of the “Rome I” Regulation.
    3According to Article 12, provisions allowing other forms than in writing do not apply “where any party has his/her place of business in a Contracting State which has made a declaration under Article 96 of this Convention.
    4See, for Italy, Tribunale of Pavia, 29 December 1999, Fallimento tessile 21 srl c. Nana Anast Platania and Tribunale of Vigevano, 12 July 2000, Soc. Rheinland Versicherungen c. Srl Atlarex.
    5As a general principle, when the price has not been determined in the contract, the price to be applied will be the one generally charged at the time of the conclusion of the contract “[…] for such goods sold under comparable circumstances in the trade concerned” (Article 55). If the price is fixed according to the weight of the goods, in case of doubt the net weight will be considered (Article 56).
    6Section II of Chapter II, Articles 35-44.
    7As per paragraph 1, the seller acts at his/her own expense, without causing an unreasonable delay and “[…] without causing the buyer unreasonable inconvenience or uncertainty of reimbursement by the seller of expenses advanced by the buyer …” The buyer keeps anyway the right to claim damages.

    Editor: Lucio LANUCARA
    © 2009 ASSONEBB


    It's a time series estimating method, developed as an evolution of Exponential Smoothing (ES) and Holt method experience. It Implements the prediction obtained by Holt method, that is composed of two equations: level (Lt) and trend (Tt) with the equation of seasonal component (St).

    Editor: Giuliano DI TOMMASO


    It is the theorem that allow to represent a weakly stationary with mean zero stochastic process (Xt), as the sum of the products of the parameter ? (sequence of real numbers) by the factor ? (sequence of independent identically distributed random variables, with zero mean and variance ?2):

    So that is:

    and ensure that the process is stationary must be verified both the mean and variance of the following reports:

    from which it follows:

    but also those of the autocorrelation and auto-covariance:

    so it is:

    Editor: Giuliano DI TOMMASO


    Share of the gross capital spent in specific activities of a factory farm.
    All the movable factors are assigned to the working or agricultural capital; it is divided into in-store capital and anticipated capital.
    The in-store tools (machineries and livestock) and in-store products belong to the in-store capital, on which the production of the farm depends. In-store tools and in-store products are destined to be reused, as factors of production or raw materials. Machineries as well as battery and working livestock are differentiated factors susceptible to partial damage; fattened livestock and in-store products are instead susceptible to total damage.
    The anticipated capital is the undifferentiated capital instalment that is used during the whole duration of the administrative practice (fixed asset) for the characteristic activity carried out by the farm.
    The so-defined working capital is financially tied up for the whole duration of the agricultural year, just like the real estate; that makes it possible to provide remuneration through the assignment of an appropriate annual interest rate.

    Editor: Barbara PANCINO
    © 2009 ASSONEBB

  • WORLD BANK (Encyclopedia)


    The World Bank or International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) was established in 1944 after the Bretton Woods Conference to become, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), one of the international financial institutions of the new economic structure born after the Second World War. Commonly refers to the WB also with the term World Bank Group. Initially the WB objectives were the reconstruction of war-torn countries and thereafter the economic development and assistance to developing countries through the financing of specific projects. The Bank has therefore focused its efforts on issues such as international financial assistance, social capital development, good governance, private sector growth, financing national budget of developing countries.

    The decision to establish two institutions with different, but somehow complementary, mandates was taken during the monetary and financial Conference of Bretton Woods (1944). The objective of the Conference was to reorganise the international monetary system towards a new monetary cooperation, which would foster world trade and economic growth. Under these circumstances, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), core of the present World Bank group, were founded in 1944. The IBRD was in charge of conceding long-term loans directed to the reconstruction of the countries damaged by the Second World War and to the development of the member states. Within a changing economic, political and social context, the Bank began its transformation and became the main international organisation in support of development and poverty reduction. In 1960, the Bank was integrated by the International Development Association (IDA), which was established to promote economic development, enhance productivity and improve living conditions in less developed countries.
    The IBRD’s activity officially started in June 1946 with the objective of restoring the world economies of the post-war era, as indicated by Art.1 of the Article of Agreements. However, the amount of resources required to achieve this objective turned out to be higher than expected. For this reason, in 1947, the United States decided to start a financial aid plan in favour of the European countries (European Recovery Program … ERP, better known as Marshall Plan) aimed at rebuilding the capitalistic structure of their economies. The European countries were invited to present a detailed program including the common requirements aimed at achieving the reconstruction. This program was used as the starting point of the Paris Conference of March-April 1948 during which the Organisation for Economic European Cooperation (OEEC) was established. The OEEC’s objective was to realise the reconstruction of Europe through a better use of the American funds. This circumstance led the IBRD to progressively abandon its role in the reconstruction process and focus on the activity of expanding productive capacities and improving the living conditions of the developing economies.
    In order to exercise its mandate, the Bank encourages foreign private investments by means of guarantees or by participating in loans and other private investments. Furthermore, the Bank can promote international trade, having the latter a direct positive impact on the development of productive resources, on the level of productivity and on the living conditions in the member states.
    Loans and guarantees are supplied only for the realisation of the most useful and urgent international projects, regardless of their dimension. Finally, the Organisation had to support the transition from a war towards a peace economy. In particular, Art.1 of the IBRD Articles of Agreement states the following:

    The purposes of the Bank are:

    (i) To assist in the reconstruction and development of territories of members by facilitating the investment of capital for productive purposes, including the restoration of economies destroyed or disrupted by war, the reconversion of productive facilities to peacetime needs and the encouragement of the development of productive facilities and resources in less developed countries.
    (ii) To promote private foreign investment by means of guarantees or participations in loans and other investments made by private investors; and when private capital is not available on reasonable terms, to supplement private investment by providing, on suitable conditions, finance for productive purposes out of its own capital, funds raised by it and its other resources.
    (iii) To promote the long-range balanced growth of international trade and the maintenance of equilibrium in balances of payments by encouraging international investment for the development of the productive resources of members, thereby assisting in raising productivity, the standard of living and conditions of labor in their territories.
    (iv) To arrange the loans made or guaranteed by it in relation to international loans through other channels so that the more useful and urgent projects, large and small alike, will be dealt with first.
    (v) To conduct its operations with due regard to the effect of international investment on business conditions in the territories of members and, in the immediate postwar years, to assist in bringing about a smooth transition from a wartime to a peacetime economy.

    The Bank shall be guided in all its decisions by the purposes set forth above."

    1. Projects financed by the WB

    The IBRD’s activity initially focused on the realisation of development projects in the fields of infrastructure, energy and transportation, without paying too much attention to other sectors such as health, education and access to water resources. Thus, the Organisation had the main objective of filling the existing gap between the more industrialised economies and the developing ones by financing those projects in the public utilities sector which were considered as investments with a deferred productivity and scarcely attractive for private investors. Later on, the funding of these types of project was integrated by the offer of technical assistance in the design and implementation phases. Nevertheless, in order to achieve full development and a better performance of the developing economies, the support to the private sector soon became as important as public intervention. This circumstance led to the creation of a new institution, complementary to the IBRD, which could enhance private investments in different sectors. The International Finance Corporation (IFC)1 was therefore established in 1956 with the specific objective of promoting the diffusion of private productive firms in the less developed areas of the member countries. The Bank’s interest in offering financial resources always concerned the general performance of the beneficiary country more than the result of the specific project. In particular, this last aspect better emerged after the transformation of the Organisation into a "development agency", which reflected into a greater attention of the Bank to the social and cultural impact of financial investments, more than just their economic output.
    Today, the World Bank plays an active role in all the phases of the project cycle, from the identification of the intervention to the fundraising, implementation and ex-post evaluation of the project.

    2. The World Bank Group

    The World Bank (WB) includes the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Agency. These institutions play very different roles but are both oriented towards the achievement of a global and sustainable development. The WB cannot be properly considered a bank given its complex structure made of international development institutions and other agencies, such as the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
    The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) gives credit to less developed countries to realise public and private investments, and finances its activity by selling AAA shares on the financial market. The Bank’s capital is made of shares reflecting the economic power of the 186 member states and, to a larger extent, of foreign public and private funds.
    Since 1960, the International Development Association (IDA) works together with the IBRD in fighting poverty. The Association, which includes 169 member states2, gives interest-free credits to countries with a per-capita annual income lower than a fixed threshold level3, by offering more favorable conditions than the Bank. All the projects funded by the Association deal with economic growth and inequality reduction. Although being legally and financially separated, the IDA and the IBDR are both placed in Washington D.C. in the United States, work through the same agents and evaluate projects and programs according to the same criteria. In particular, the IDA offers financial assistance to more than 70 developing countries worldwide, 39 of which in Africa, by giving interest-free credits to be reimbursed within 40 years and with possible further extensions up to 10 years. Since the beginning of its activity, the Association gave credits for an amount of 193 billions dollars, about 10 billions per year, of which 50% in the African region.
    The International Finance Corporation (IFC) was established in 1956 with the objective of fighting poverty and improving population’s life conditions by financing those agents lacking of any governmental warranty. The Corporation includes 181 shareholder countries4, which are also IBRD’s members, and takes the form of both a multilateral development bank and an investment bank. The IFC has the main objectives of providing access to credit to firms operating in regions that are typically excluded from the private capital market, giving long-term credits and offering risk management and technical assistance products. The Corporation gives credits for sums not exceeding 25% of the total cost of the project and for an amount up to 100 million dollar. These credits are mainly directed to encourage the activities of small and medium firms, privatise governmental companies and support private investments in infrastructures, tourism, health and education.
    The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) was founded in 1966 with the "Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States" and includes 144 member states. The main objective of this independent institution is to remove obstacles to the international flow of private investments, caused by the existence of non-commercial risks and the absence of specific conflict resolution mechanisms.
    The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) was established in 1988 with the objective of promoting foreign private investments in developing countries by offering insurance services and legal assistance. In particular, the Agency gives guarantees to foreign investors against non-commercial risks such as transferring restrictions, expropriations and breaches of contracts. These guarantees are offered only to member states to finance projects in developing countries, which must be members as well. The maximum coverage of warranty is 90% for stock investments and 95% for debts with 15-year duration. In some cases, the latter can be extended up to 20 years and the investors have always the option of extinguishing it after 3 years.

    3. Organisational structure

    A country is a member of the World Bank for the fact of having subscribed its capital shares, thus becoming a shareholder of the institution. Each state is represented inside the Board of Governors, which holds the decisional power concerning the definition of strategies, the admission and suspension of member countries and the variation of capital. The Board is made of a Governor and his/her substitute, the Alternate Governor, both appointed by the member states5, and it meets every year.
    In case one of the countries is both a member of the Bank and of the IFC and IDA, the Governor and his/her Alternate belong ex-officio to the Board of Governors of these agencies6. The most urgent issues are delegated to the decision of the Board of Directors, made of 24 Executive Directors, 5 of which are appointed by the Bank’s major shareholders: France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Executive Directors meet twice a week to approve loans, guarantees and the administrative account, and to define financial and assistance strategies in favour of specific countries.
    The World Bank’s President, at present Robert B. Zoellick, is appointed by the Board of Governors every 5 years. He is responsible for the whole institution’s management and he chairs the meeting of the Board of Directors. This position has always been held by a United States citizen, being this country the major shareholder of the Bank.

    The World Bank organizational structure is also composed by Inspection Panel, an independent body that monitors compliance with mandate and policies of the Bank through the activation of investigations for violations of internal procedures in the execution of projects.

    1The International Finance Association is part of the World Bank group, together with the International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), established in 1966, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), established in 1988.
    2Number updated to July 2009. According to what established by the "Articles of Agreement", to become a member of the IBRD, a country must already be an IMF’s member. Furthermore, in order to join the IDA, IFA and MIGA, the country must already be an IBRD’s member.
    3The IDA fixes the per-capita income threshold level every year. In the fiscal year 2008 (from 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008), it was equal to 1,065 USD and then increased up to 1,095 USD in 2009.
    4Number updated to 2009. To become member of the IFC, a country must obey the following:
    - being an IBRD’s member;
    - having accepted and signed the IFC’s "Articles of Agreement";
    - having left the acceptance act of the IFC’s "Articles of Agreement" at the World Bank group’s secretariat.
    The Conference’s member countries decide about the IFC’s policy and approve the amount of resources offered in the form of loans and services to finance projects.
    5These positions are generally held either by the Minister of Finance or by the Central Bank Governor of one of the member states for a 5-year period.
    6As to the MIGA, the Governor and his/her Alternate of each member state are appointed and act separately.

    Esposito C., Istituzioni Economiche Internazionali e Governance Globale, G. Giappichelli Editore … Torino, 2009.
    Gavin M., Rodrik D., The World Bank in Historical Perspective, The America Economic Review, vol. 85, 1995.
    Kapur D., Lewis J.P., Webb R., The World Bank. Its first Half Century, Vol. I, History, Vol. II, Perspectives, Brookings Institutions Press, 1997.
    You J.Il., The Bretton Woods Institutions: Evolution, Reform and Change, D. Nayyar (ed.), Governing Globalization. Issues and Institutions, Oxford University Press, 2002.
    Editor: Federica ALFANI
    © 2009 ASSONEBB



    The World Bank Inspection Panel is an independent complaints mechanism for people and communities who believe that they have been, or are likely to be, adversely affected by a World Bank-funded project. In particular, the complaints to the Panel concern issues related to projects financed by International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA), otherwise the complaints related to the projects supported by other agencies of the World Bank Group, like International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), are dealt with by the Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO). The Inspection Panel was the first body to promote accountability among international financial institutions. The Inspection Panel process aims to promote accountability at the World Bank, give affected people a greater voice in activities supported by the World Bank that affect their rights and interests, and foster redress when warranted.


    The World Bank Inspection Panel is a permanent body with a very simple structure characterized by the work of three members (inspectors), each coming from a different Member State Bank. This number is similar to the classical system of international control organs because is an odd number and it facilitates the formation of majorities necessary for the deliberations. Inspectors shall remain in office for five years and are nominated by the Executive Directors on the proposal of the World Bank President. They can’t work in other professional activities, except with authorization by the Board of Governors of the World Bank.

    The Panel is chaired by first inspector named and to whom is entrusted the direction of the services and direction of hearings and the related resolutions.

    In addition to the three inspectors is expected the Executive Secretary, nominated by the President of the Bank after consultation with the Board of Governors. The Executive Secretary attends all meetings of the Panel, but is deprived of the right to vote. The Executive Secretary is a mediator between the body and the applicants.

    In the performance of their functions, members of the Panel shall be officials of the Bank enjoying the privileges and immunities accorded to Bank officials, and shall be subject to the requirements of the Bank’s Articles of Agreement concerning their exclusive loyalty to the Bank.


    The mandate of the Panel focuses on monitoring of the activities of the World Bank and its "policies", "procedures" and "operational directives", during the execution of a project. These policies and internal operating procedures look at many issues such as environmental and local populations protection that could be damaged in the realization of the project financed by the Bank.

    The Panel analyzes projects financed by IBRD and IDA because the IFC and MIGA are not subject to its investigations. If, therefore, the responsibility of the damage is not attributable directly to the Bank (IBRD and IDA) or, for example, it’s responsibility of loan recipient, the request for an investigation of the Panel can’t be accepted.

    The Panel exists primarily to evaluate the admissibility of actions, which must meet certain eligibility criteria:

    1. The exhaustion of domestic remedies: in cases where the guarantee instruments provided by the domestic law of the World Bank, haven’t remedied the prejudice situations.

    2. The connection between the acts and omissions of the World Bank: the existence of a direct causal connection between the acts attributable to the Bank and the material injury suffered by the applicants.

    3. The time criteria: the Panel is not entitled to act if the request is made ??after the end of the loan or after the loan has been granted for more than 95% of the total.

    Affected parties to request inspection

    The affected parties must have two fundamental characteristics to request the Panel intervention:

    1. The part must be composed by a group of individual and not by a single person.

    2. The part must be resident in the area affected by the implementation of a project financed by the Bank.

    Can be eligible to request an inspection: individuals (at least two), associations, local representatives, NGOs and in addition a single Executive Director or the Board of Executive Directors.

    Inspection Process

    The Panel inspection process can be divided in four phases: inspection request, preliminary examination, inspection and final report.

    The inspection request: a request to perform an investigation must be submitted in writing and must contain a variety of information, about how policies and operating procedures have been infringed and a description of how the applicant has been injured. If the Panel Chairman considers that the issue is outside the mandate of the Panel, he will notify to the applicant . The Panel Chairman must be notify the request to the Executive Directors and the Chairman of the Bank. Within 21 days after notification, the Bank's management shall provide evidence to the Panel that it has complied with the policies and operating procedures of the Bank in the implementation of the project, or that it intends to comply with these policies and procedures from the moment.

    The preliminary examination: no later than 21 days from the response of the management, the Panel must conduct a preliminary investigation to verify that exist conditions to enable an investigation procedure. The Panel must verify the following items:

    1. Entitlement of the applicant (jurisdiction ratione personae).

    2. Relevance of the action (jurisdiction ratione materiae).

    3. Time criteria (jurisdiction ratione temporis).

    After the preliminary examination, the Panel will recommend to the Executive Directors to start an inspection. The Executive Directors, meeting within the Council, must take the decision to authorize the Panel to start an inspection.

    Inspection: the Panel has the power to conduct investigations in consultation with staff members and if necessary, the General Manager and the Operations Evaluation Department of the World Bank. In addition, this body has access to all documents of the Bank. It will be possible to consult the Executive Director who represent the beneficiary of the loan and make any investigation on the country territory in which the project is being carried out with the consent of the State concerned. Final Report: at the end of the inspection, the Panel shall prepare a written report based on the results of the investigation, determines whether or not the Bank has complied with its policies and procedures. This report is presented to the Executive Directors and the Chairman of the Bank. The Executive Directors, within two weeks after receiving the report, shall inform the applicant of the investigation’s results and about any action the Bank intend to take.

    Legal status of Panel acts and limits

    The Panel was created by an act of the Bank and is therefore formally subordinate to his administrative bodies. The establishment of the Panel through an amendment to the World Bank Agreement, or through an additional protocol, could be give more strong to the Panel functions. In fact, the Panel is characterized by a complete absence of decision-making power because the Executive Directors have the power to authorize a procedure for the investigation and, subsequently, whether or not to act on the recommendations of the Panel.

    The need to make the panel an independent body collides with the fact that its members are considered officers of the Bank. They are, therefore, employees of that institution on which they perform a inspection, which automatically reduces the independence and impartiality required.

    The Panel acts are not binding and have no powers of sanction. The final report, in fact, is to be considered "invitation" for the implementation of Bank conduct and it’s legally irrelevant, but not without effects. Although the final report has not sanctioning powers, the relationship can become a significant mechanism of pressure on the management because it has been produced by an independent body. For example, the evaluation of World Bank officials’ negligence as a possible consequence may result in the initiation of disciplinary action.

    Disputes about the birth of the Panel

    Since the eighties, the discrepancy between the dictates of World Bank internal policies and its concrete actions has caused criticism on the international arena. In fact, the main reasons for the birth of this institution are to be found in the poor results achieved by financing activities and for transparency needs in relation to any damage or harm caused by the activities of the Bank.

    The need to create a real surveillance system on the funding of the institute has collided with the will of developing countries. These countries did not want to activate an organ that could be a mechanism of intrusion in the performance of their development projects.

    For these reasons, the organization of work on Panel creation has been appointed by a division between industrialized and developing countries. The Western countries, civil society and NGOs have supported the need for this body, but the main opponents were those developing countries that considered Panel a possible source of delays in the execution of development plans. These reasons have weakened the original mandate of this body which is in fact devoid of a real decision-making power.

    THE WORLD BANK INSPECTION PANEL http://tinyurl.com/2g9h3d


    DRAETTA U. … FUMAGALLI MERAVIGLIA M. (2011) Il diritto delle organizzazioni internazionali, Milano, Giuffrè Editore (http://www.giuffre.it/it-it/products/173429.html)
    SCISO E. (2012) Appunti di diritto internazionale dell’economia, Torino, Giappichelli Editore (http://www.giappichelli.it/home/978-88-348-2690-4,3482690.asp1)
    SEATZU F. (2008) Il Panel d’ispezione della Banca Mondiale, Torino, Giappichelli Editore (http://www.giappichelli.it/home/978-88-348-7693-0,3487693.asp1)
    SHIHATA I. F. (2000) The World Bank Inspection Panel: in practice, World Bank Publications, No.1
    VEZZANI S. (2011) Gli accordi delle Organizzazioni del Gruppo della Banca Mondiale, Torino, Giappichelli Editore (http://www.giappichelli.it/home/978-88-348-1581-6,3481581.asp1)

    Editor: Giovanni AVERSA


    Switzerland is the home of the World Economic Forum (WEF), an international organisation which brings together world leaders from the realms of politics and business, to discuss and shape future policies. The WEF, which has its headquarters in Geneva, was founded in 1971 and it is best known to the general public for the annual meeting it holds at the end of January in the Swiss resort of Davos, where world economic and social problems are debated. This is attended by presidents and prime Ministers, the heads of major economic organisations, representatives of NGOs and intellectuals. The WEF describes its agenda as improving the state of the world. In addition to the Davos meeting, the WEF holds a number of regional meetings each year. It also conducts research into topics related to the contribution of business to development and issues reports.

    Editor: Giovanni AVERSA


    This is a kind of oil exchanged over the US market, also known as Texas Light Sweet. It is widely used as the benchmark for North and South America and it is listed on the New York Exchange (NYMEX) since 1983. WTI is considered a “sweet” oil, with approximately 0.24% of sulphur, a higher concentration as compared to the crude oil from the North Sea (Brent crude).

    Editor: Claudio DICEMBRINO
    © 2009 ASSONEBB


    International organisation established by the Marrakesh agreement on January 1, 1995 in order to regulate commercial relations between member countries, specifically in terms of questions pertaining to legal agreements and instruments. The World Trade Organization’s activity is founded on the same principles at the heart of the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), whose role the WTO assumed by acknowledging the various agreements and conventions adopted. The passage from the GATT system to that of the World Trade Organization (WTO) took place at the end of a complex transition that finally concluded on January 1, 2006, the date in which the old system ceased to exist after having provided important support towards the creation of a stable commercial system contributing to unprecedented economic growth. Table 1 displays the WTO’s 153 current member states1:

    Table 1 … Member Countries and Observing Countries

    : WTO (2008)

    Of these countries, 112 are original members, parties to the GATT, that accepted the WTO and other multilateral agreements without reserve; other countries joined later on, acquiring member status only after negotiations with the already member countries. Countries that are not yet members of the WTO or other international organisations are allowed to be considered "Observing Members". This condition, connected to procedural agreements of the Organisation, allows countries to follow the discussions about themes for which they may have a particular interest, without, however, any decision power. In addition, organisations that cooperate closely with the WTO are also observers, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, as well as institutions like the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations (UN), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

    1. WTO’s basic principles

    The WTO’s basic principles are the foundation of the multilateral trading system. In particular, the trading system should be:
    - without discrimination … it means that a country should not discriminate between its trading partners, giving them equally "most-favoured-nation" or MFN status; furthermore, it should not discriminate between its own and foreign products, services or nationals, giving them "national treatment";
    - freer … lowering trade barriers through negotiation; barriers include customs duties or tariffs and measures such as import bans or quotas that restrict quantities selectively;
    - predictable … foreign companies, investors and governments should be confident that trade barriers, including tariffs and non-tariff barriers, should not be raised arbitrarily; tariff rates and market-opening commitments are "bound" in the WTO;
    - more competitive … discouraging "unfair" practices such as export subsidies and dumping products at below cost to gain market share;
    - more beneficial for less developed countries … giving them more time to adjust, greater flexibility, and special privileges.
    In particular, by analysing the first principle well known as most-favoured-nation (MFN) treatment, we can observe that it is the priority of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT). It is also included in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Although those three agreements cover all the three main areas of trade handled by the WTO, the principle is handled slightly differently in each of them. The MFN provides that each country treats all the other members equally as "most-favoured" trading partners. If a country applies some conditions to one trading partner, it has to give the same "best" treatment to all the other WTO members, so that they all remain "most-favoured". Some exceptions are allowed, but in any case, the principle ensures that each country treats its over 153 fellow-members equally.
    As the former one, the principle of "national treatment" is found in all the three main WTO agreements, GATT, GATS and TRIPS, and it is handled slightly differently in each of these. It provides that imported goods receive the same treatment of national products, services or item of intellectual properties only once they have entered the market.

    2. WTO’s organisational structure

    The WTO shows an articulated organisational structure, constituted by principal governing bodies entrusted with gener
    al responsibilities, permanent subsidiary bodies, and subsidiary bodies responsible for specific matters. The Ministerial Conference, one of the principal bodies, meets collectively once every two years, but it can be convoked for an extraordinary meeting by the President’s initiative, or by request of the General Council or a majority of members. The Conference carries out the organisation’s typical functions, by taking the necessary action to that end. It also has the ability to make decisions on any situation regarding the underlying multilateral commercial agreements. The General Council, an executive body, exercises the functions of the Conference during the interval between meetings, gathering about 12 times a year to ensure the smooth and constant functioning of the organisation. The Council is also entrusted with monitoring the organisation’s functioning, as well as with ministerial decisions. The General Council also functions as a Dispute Settlement Body and a Trade Policy Review Body.
    The following are permanent subsidiary bodies of the General Council:
    - The Council for Trade in Goods
    - The Council for Trade in Services
    - The Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
    These bodies operate under the direction of the General Council and are responsible for the workings of the WTO agreements dealing with their respective areas of trade. In addition to these bodies, there is a series of specific committees.
    The specific committees are:
    - Committee on Trade and Development
    - Committee on Balance of Payments Restrictions
    - Committee on Budget, Finance and Administration
    - Committee on Trade and Environment
    - Committee on Regional Trade Agreements.
    The WTO’s General Director2is appointed by the Ministerial Conference, and the director, in turn, appoints the officials of the Secretariat. The Director is responsible for the administration and management of the organisation and, as established in the institutional agreement, for presenting the annual budget forecast and finance report to the Committee on Budget and, once approved, to the General Council. It is also the responsibility of the Director to represent the WTO in all legal matters, and to act as a depository for all contracts.

    3. WTO’s decision making process

    The decision making process begins with informal consultation and council and committees meetings; decisions are normally taken by consensus; this process does not require the unanimous agreement between member countries, but rather consensus is achieved if no member present disagrees with a decision. In that case, issues are taken to a vote on a one-country, one-vote basis, regardless of each country’s economic and demographic weight. Each vote requires a given majority depending on the argument, the proposal and the effects of the discussion. The basic principles such as the most-favoured-nation (MFN) treatment and the principle of national treatment require unanimity to be modified; other kinds of contents can be modified by two-thirds of the members and repealed in part by three-fourths. No specified cases require simple majority.

    4. WTO’s special policies

    The WTO’s main functions have to do with trade negotiations and the enforcement of negotiated multilateral trade rules. The organisation implements four particular policies supporting four different functions:
    - Assisting developing and transition economies: much attention is paid to needs and problems of developing and transition economies. Several programmes are organised jointly with other international organisations. Furthermore, the least-developed countries are helped with trade and tariff data relating to their own export interests and to their participation in WTO bodies;
    - Specialised help for export promotion: the International Trade Center assists developing countries in formulating and implementing export promotion programmes as well as import operations and techniques. It was established by the GATT in 1964 and it is jointly operated by the WTO and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The centre’s help is freely available to the least-developed countries;
    - Co-operation in global economic policy-making: the WTO cooperates with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other multilateral institutions to achieve greater coherence in global economic policy-making;
    - Routine notification when members introduce new trade measures or alter old ones: the WTO requires that countries notify the organisation when they take relevant actions in order to monitor whether commitments are being implemented. On the other side, the WTO’s website (www.wto.org) is the only manner to keep the public informed; the organisation’s objective is to make more information available to the public.
    1As of July 3, 2008
    2The position of General Director of the WTO has been held by Pascal Lenny since January 1, 2005.
    Esposito, C., Istituzioni Economiche Internazionali e Governance Globale, Giappichelli Ed., 2009
    Jackson J., The Uruguay Round and the WTO: New Opportunities for the Bretton Woods System, in Bretton Woods Commission, Bretton Woods: Looking to the Future, 1994.
    WTO Segretariat, From GATT to the WTO: the Multilateral Trading System in the New Millennium, Kluver Law International, 2000.
    WTO, Annual reports.
    Editor: Federica ALFANI
    © 2009 ASSONEBB



    The Doha Round was officially launched at the WTO’s Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha (Qatar), in November 2001. It is the latest round of trade negotiations, after the end of the Uruguay Round among the World Trade Organization (WTO) membership. These negotiations were concluded when the Ministers of Trade of 160 WTO member countries had signed, in Bali (Indonesia), an historic agreement for the liberalization of international trade in December 2013. This agreement ended a series of ten-year long negotiations, in which the topics discussed (Doha Development Agenda) were: agriculture, services, WTO rules, dispute settlement procedures (see Dispute Settlement Body-DSB), e-commerce, Trips (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights), "Singapore Issues" (Foreign Direct Investment-FDI, competition policy, transparency in government procurement and trade facilitation). The rules, resulting from the trade negotiations, should have been merged within 2005, into a single undertaking agreement (a procedure which forces member States to fully accept the agreements package or to reject it en bloc). On the contrary, in the Cancun Conference in 2003, the negotiations reached a stalemate because of division between the advanced countries (the EU, the United States) and the emerging countries (such as, Brazil, China, India, South Korea, South Africa). After the stalemate, a final agreement (also known as the "Doha light") was reached in Bali, bringing about the conclusion of the Doha Round.

    Structure of the WTO Agreements

    GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs) and, later on, the WTO, are organizations which pursue goals, such as free trade, the elimination of customs barriers as well as tariffs, the removal of Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and everything that can hinder free competition in the global market. The WTO agreements cover goods, services and intellectual property; they spell out the principles of liberalization and the permitted exceptions. They also include individual countries’ commitments to lower customs tariffs and other trade barriers and to open and keep open services markets. They set procedures for settling disputes and prescribe special treatment for developing countries. The WTO agreements require Governments to make their trade policies transparent by notifying the WTO about laws in force and measures adopted and through regular reports by the secretariat on countries’ trade policies.

    These agreements are often called the WTO’s trade rules and the WTO is often described as “rules-based”, a system based on rules. However, it’s important to remember that the rules are actually agreements negotiated by Governments. The principal mechanisms used by the WTO to pursue these objectives are the multilateral negotiations, the so-called "Rounds". The Rounds are ordinary commercial negotiations at the end of which, international agreements independent from the GATT are stipulated: they are destined to bind only the States which formally accept them. The agreements, which constitute the rules of WTO, are usually adopted by consensus among all members.

    Tab. 1: The basic structure of the WTO agreements

    Source: World Trade Organization

    The WTO was born out of negotiations and every action that the WTO takes, is the result of these negotiations. The bulk of the WTO's current work comes from the 1986-94 negotiations called the Uruguay Round and from earlier negotiations under the GATT.

    The use of multilateral trading system (Round) guarantees greater consensus and benefit for all nations that take part in it. Through these negotiations rules of international trade are established with the aim of guaranteeing stability for national markets, encouraging growth and free trade (as shown in Table 2). At the same time, the use of a negotiation system based on consensus, causes long-lasting decision-making processes.

    Tab. 2: Growth in volume of world merchandise trade and GDP 2005-12 (annual percentage change):

    Source: WTO World Trade Report 2013

    Start of the Doha Round

    The latest round of WTO negotiations was held in Doha (Qatar) in November 9th, 2001. The result of these negotiations was the Doha Development Agenda, a document that establishes the beginning of the Doha Rounds. The Development Agenda drew the world attention because of its development issues (see Millennium Development Goals adopted in the Millennium Declaration of the United Nations in 2000). The topics discussed during the four days of the conference were:

    - Agriculture;

    - Non-agricultural Goods Market Access (NAMA);

    - The relationship between investment and trade;

    - Interaction between trade and competition policy;

    - "Singapore Issues" (transparency in government procurement, trade facilitation and customs issues);

    - Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs);

    - Trade and environment;

    - WTO Rules;

    - Resolution of disputes;

    - Small economies;

    - Trade, debt and finance;

    - Trade and technology transfer;

    - Technical cooperation and capacity building;

    - Least Developed Countries;

    - Special and differential treatment;

    In addition, the Doha Ministerial Conference established the beginning of the next Conference (Cancun, 2003), the so-called "Singapore Issues". Finally, it was decided to set a deadline for concluding the negotiations within January 2005.

    Failure of the Cancun Ministerial Conference

    The Ministerial Conference in Cancun (Mexico ) in 2003, was an important step for the Doha Round. Topics included the relationship between international trade, foreign investment and competition, transparency and facilitation of international trade. The conference provided political and economic contrasts between members: the developing countries did not accept the “Singapore issues”; the U.S. did not want to eliminate subsidies to its cotton producers; the U.S. and the European Union clashed with G-20 countries group on agricultural issues and on market access for non-agricultural products. There were still objections raised by many developing countries against the tariff reductions.

    The Cancun Conference provoked, as main effect, the crisis of Doha Development Agenda and the multilateral approach of world trade by WTO.

    Main Reasons for the Round Impasse

    After the failure of Cancun Conference, the negotiations of Doha Round reached a long stalemate. The Conference results showed the decline of the western economy (U.S. and EU) and the rise in international trade of some BRICS countries, such as China and Brazil (see swap trade agreement between China and Brazil) and of other G-20 countries. According to the Bretton Woods institutions (International Monetary Fund - IMF, World Bank and the WTO) any failure of Doha Rounds might have been caused by high costs compared to the potential gains in terms of commercial wealth. During the ten-year of negotiation, the structure of international trade and consequently the balance of negotiation power underwent changes because of the success of new emerging economies. The international trade regulation became particularly fractionated by the exemptions, preferential agreements, bilateral and multilateral agreements between nations. Therefore, with the passing of time, the negotiations' principles and the multilateral mechanisms of the WTO became obsolete also because of the rapid changes for globalization of economy.

    Conclusion of the Doha Round: Bali Agreement

    In December 2005, the WTO organized the Sixth Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong which officially re-opened negotiations on the issues discussed in Cancun and revitalized the Doha Round. The Hong Kong meeting had a positive effect on the negotiations, as well as on the WTO workings. After the Hong Kong conference, Rounds continued in Geneva, Potsdam until Bali agreement in December 2013.

    According to the report published by the “Peterson Institute for International Economics”, the "Bali package" should create one trillion dollars of economic wealth. The measures package developed in Bali, also known as the "Doha light", however, represents less than 10 % of the comprehensive reform program originally established in Doha. In fact, it does not refer to tariffs or quantitative restrictions, but it focuses on the elimination of administrative and bureaucratic obstacles to trade. WTO achieved only three of the originally nineteen chapters: the first chapter was the bureaucratic simplification of customs procedures through a better use of network technologies. The second one concerned the Indian exemption to allow the State to buy, at subsidized prices, from their peasant food to reduce the risk of hunger and poverty. Finally, the third one referred to developing countries, focusing on the abolition of duties on the export.


    DILIP K. DAS (2005), Doha Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations: Arduous Issues and Strategic Responses, New York, Palgrave Macmillan

    GUERRIERI P.- SALVATICI L. (2008), Il Doha Round e il Wto. Una valutazione quantitativa degli scenari di liberalizzazione, Bologna, Il Mulino

    HOHMANN H. (2008), Agreeing and Implementing the Doha Round of the WTO, Cambridge, University Press

    RAVI DEVARAKONDA K. (2013), “Asymmetries mark WTO's Bali Accord”, Asia Times Online, 17 December


    RUSHFORD G. (2013), “India's Bali Debacle”, Wall Street Journal, 9 December

    (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB100014240527023047443045792 47772406524520)

    SPAGNUOLO F.(2009), Globalizzazione e diritti umani. Il commercio dei servizi nella WTO, Pisa, Plus

    SYDNEY J. KEY (2003), The Doha Round and financial services negotiations, Washington D.C., Aei Press

    WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (2013) "Days 3, 4 and 5: Round-the-clock consultations produce 'Bali Package'”, WTO, 7 December (http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news13_e/mc9sum_07dec13_e.htm)

    WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (2013) “Revised drafts of ‘Bali Package’ sent to ministers after intensive consultations”, WTO, 6 December 2013 (http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news13_e/mc9_06dec13_e.htm)

    Editor: Giovanni AVERSA


    The WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), created in Article 2 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU)administers World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement proceedings. The DSB consists of all WTO members, usually represented by Ambassadors or equivalent. It makes decisions on trade disputes between governments that are adjudicated by the Organization. The DSB has the sole authority to establish “Panels” of experts to consider the case, and to accept or reject the Panels’ findings or the results of an appeal. The DSB uses a special decision procedure known as "reverse consensus" or "consensus against" that makes it almost certain that the Panel recommendations in a dispute will be accepted. The process requires that the recommendations of the Panel should be adopted "unless" there is a consensus of the members against adoption. The DSB monitors the implementation of the rulings and recommendations, and has the power to authorize retaliation when a country does not comply with a ruling.

    Editor: Giovanni AVERSA

Selected letter: W English version

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