The WTO`s highest decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference, which usually meets every two years. It brings together all WTO members, all of which are countries or customs unions. The Ministerial Conference may take decisions on all matters within the framework of one of the multilateral trade agreements. Reaffirming that the purpose of such agreements should be to facilitate trade between the constituent territories and not to impede the trade of other Members with those territories, and that the Parties should not, to the extent possible, have negative effects on the trade of other Members during establishment or expansion, Benin provided initial answers to some of the questions, indicating that the reduction formula had been established on the basis of the submissions of previous members. Benin added that Cotton-4 was ready to clarify some elements of its proposal, in particular with regard to the green box. The basic structure of the WTO Agreements: how the six main areas of the WTO Framework Agreement fit together, goods, services, intellectual property, disputes and trade policy reviews. Customs unions, free trade areas and interim agreements leading to the formation of a customs union or free trade area shall comply, inter alia, with paragraphs 5, 6, 7 and 8 of this Article in accordance with Article XXIV. These agreements are not static; they are renegotiated from time to time and new agreements can be added to the package. Many of them are currently being negotiated within the framework of the Doha Development Agenda launched by WTO trade ministers in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001.
As regards the interim agreements, the Group may make appropriate recommendations in its report on the proposed timetable and on the measures necessary to complete the formation of the customs union or free trade area. It may, if necessary, provide for a further review of the Agreement. Benin submitted the first Cotton-4 proposal since MC11. The provisions of Articles XXII and XXIII of GATT 1994, as elaborated and applied in the Dispute Settlement Agreement, may be invoked in respect of any matter arising from the application of those provisions of Article XXIV relating to customs unions, free trade areas or interim agreements leading to the formation of a customs union or free trade area. There is a Council for Trade in Goods, a Council for Trade in Services and a Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (hereinafter referred to as the «TRIPS Council»), which operate under the general direction of the General Council. The Council for Trade in Goods oversees the operation of the multilateral trade agreements set out in Annex 1A. The Council for Trade in Services monitors the operation of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (hereinafter referred to as «GATS»). The TRIPS Council monitors the operation of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (hereinafter referred to as the «TRIPS Agreement»). These Councils carried out the tasks entrusted to them by their respective agreements and by the General Council. .