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THE WTO: THE WTO BUILDING

Welcome

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The WTO building
Welcome
History
Works of art
The Park


The entrance to the Centre William Rappard

Welcome to the Centre William Rappard, the home of the World Trade Organization. Testimony to over seventy years of inter-national co-operation, the Centre William Rappard (CWR) was conceived as part of the effort after World War I to create a League of Nations and related institutions that would encourage multilateral exchanges and favour the peaceful resolution of human conflicts.

This building was the first erected in Geneva specifically to house an inter-
national organization. The many works of art and decorative items donated by countries over the years underline the collaborative effort its construction represented to the world, at a time when international
co-operation was still an aspiration rather than a reality.

At various points in its history, the building has been home to the International Labour Office, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the library of the Institut Universitaire de Hautes ╔tudes Internationales and the Secretariat of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which, prior to the creation of the WTO, had responsibility for the global trading system. Since 1995, it has been the headquarters of the WTO.


The Wyndham White meeting room, with designated seating for WTO Members

Every day trade diplomats and the WTO Secretariat staff congregate in the Centre William Rappard to discuss trade policy, negotiate rules and seek to resolve disputes that are linked to the trade agreements which constitute the body of international trade law developed since 1947. There are 21 meeting rooms in the CWR and the adjacent conference center, with a capacity to accommodate gatherings ranging from 580 to 12 participants.

The building has 1,300 windows, 1,000 doors and 2.2 kilometres of corridors. The main governing bodies of the WTO meet in the two largest rooms: the Salle Wyndham White in the main CWR building,
and the Conference Room in the new conference center.