Role of international organisations in regulating trade between countries

By John Dudovskiy

regulating trade between countriesWith the increasing forces of globalisation the need for trade regulation in an unbiased and objective manner increases. This role has been assumed by World Trade Organisation (WTO) and its functions include administration of trade agreements, serving as a forum for trade negotiations, dealing with trade disputes between its members, and monitoring policies of its members related to trade.

Established in January 1, 1995, WTO comprises 159 members and it is based in Geneva, Switzerland (Annual Report, 2013). There are contradicting assessments of WTO performance in terms of regulating trade between counties in an effective manner. You can read more scope, contribution and criticism related to WTO here.

On one hand, WTO has been praised for such positive impacts as stimulating economic growth and increasing the level of employment, encouraging good governance practices, contributing to peace and stability and settling trade disputes amongst its members (Ahern and Fergusson, 2010).

On the other hand, WTO critics argue that the organisation has made a counter-productive impact on development of a range of its members, and it also has been blamed for neglecting environmental issues. Moreover, WTO has been criticised on the grounds of political bias for serving as an instrument at the hands of its few hegemonic members.

Moreover, there are other international organisations which are parts of United Nations Organisations (UN) such as World Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF), that have certain impacts in international trade practices.

UN in general, and its Economic and Social Council in particular can be specified as another international organisation that does have impact on trade regulation between countries. Comprising 54 members for three-year terms, the Economic and Social Council aims to promote international cooperation in order to achieve economic and social development.

Millennium Development Goals is one of the most noteworthy economic initiatives proposed by the UN Economic and Social Council. The initiative involves decreasing the numbers of people that have income of less than USD 1 per day by 50 percent, assisting in provision of primary education for all children around the globe, and decreasing the number of people with no access to sanitation and drinking water by twice by the year of 2015 (Leisinger et al., 2010).

However, the extent of effective achievement of this aim is impacted by a set of factors that include lack of capacity, influence of politics, disagreement amongst members in terms of the choice of tools to deal with economic issues and others.

IMF belongs to UN system and it aims to achieve effective monetary cooperation in international level and reduce global poverty through its programs and initiatives. IMF has certain impact in trade between countries, although this impact is indirect and insubstantial. Specifically, reduction on the level of global poverty according to IMF aims and objectives can facilitate opening of new segments in the global marketplace and can cause new businesses to join the global marketplace.



Ahern, R.J. & Fergusson, I.F. (2010) “World Trade Organisation (WTO): Issues in the Debate on Continued U.S. Participation” DIANE Publishing

Annual Report (2013) World Trade Organisation

Leisinger, K., Cramer, A. & Faris, N. (2010) “Making Sense of the United Nations Global Compact human rights principles” in The United Nations Global Compact: Achievements, Trends, and Challenges editors Rasche, A. & Kell, G.