WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION (WTO):
The International Trade Organisation (ITO), originally, was proposed to be set up along with the World Bank and the IMF on the recommendations of the Brettonwoods Conference, 1944. But as the ITO could not be set up, the US, UK and a few other countries set up in 1947 an interim organisation about trade named GATT (General Agreement on Tariff and Trade). The GATT was biased in favour of the developed countries and was called informally as the "rich men's club". The developing countries insisted on setting up of the ITO; the move came to be opposed by the US. To solve the issue - the UN appointed a Committee in 1963. The Committee recommended as a possible alternative a via media, UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development). The UNCTAD was set up in 1964 on the basis of this alternative. The UNCTAD could manage to get some concessions for the developing countries, more important among which was the GSTP (General Scheme for Trade Preferences). GATT was also made progressively more liberal.
The Uruguay Round of GATT sought to expand the scope of the organisation by including, services, investment and intellectual property rights. The Uruguay Round proposals were accepted by all the members of GATT in December, 1993. The agreements were ratified by the legislatures of 85 member-countries by year-end 1994. On such rectification, the WTO started functioning from January 1, 1995.