Then there are additional agreements and annexes dealing with the specific requirements of certain sectors or themes. This chapter focuses on the Uruguay Round agreements, which are the basis of the current WTO system. Additional work is also under way in the WTO. This is the result of decisions taken at ministerial conferences, particularly at the Doha meeting in November 2001, when new negotiations and other work were initiated. (To learn more about the Doha agenda, later) The following list is historical. It includes the 128 GATT signatories at the end of 1994 and the dates on which they signed the agreement. Click here to see the current list of WTO members. THE GATT remains a WTO framework agreement for merchandise trade, updated following the Uruguay Round negotiations (distinction between the 1994 GATT, the updated GATT parts, and the 1947 GATT, the initial agreement that remains the heart of the 1994 GATT).  However, the 1994 GATT is not the only legally binding agreement contained in the final deed in Marrakech; a long list of some 60 agreements, annexes, decisions and agreements has been adopted.
The agreements are divided into six main parts: the General Agreement on Trade in Services was created to extend the multilateral trading system to the services sector, just as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) provided for such a system for trade in goods. The agreement came into force in January 1995. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that governs international trade. The WTO was officially opened on 1 January 1995, as part of the 123-nation Marrakesh Agreement signed on 15 April 1994, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which began in 1948.  The WTO regulates trade between participating countries through the establishment of a framework for the negotiation of trade agreements and a dispute settlement procedure to enforce WTO agreements by participants signed by representatives of member governments:fol.9-10 and ratified by their parliaments.  Most of the issues the WTO focuses on come from previous trade negotiations, including the Uruguay Round (1986-1994). On 1 January 1995, the WTO replaced the GATT, which has been in existence since 1947, as the organization that oversaw the multilateral trading system. GATT signatories have been formally designated as contracting parties to the GATT.
With the signing of the new WTO agreements (including the updated GATT, known as GATT 1994), they officially became WTO members. The WTO monitors some 60 different agreements that have the status of international legal texts. Member States must sign and ratify all WTO accession agreements.  A discussion ensued on some of the major agreements. The WTO regulates trade in goods, services and intellectual property among participating countries, imposing a framework for negotiating trade agreements and a dispute settlement mechanism to enforce WTO agreements signed by representatives of member governments:fol.9-10 and ratified by their parliaments.  The WTO prohibits discrimination between trading partners, but provides exceptions for environmental protection, national security and other important objectives.  Trade disputes are settled by independent WTO judges in dispute resolution proceedings.  In June 2012[update], the future of the Doha Round remained uncertain: the work programme lists 21 themes for which the initial deadline of 1 January 2005 was not met and the cycle remains incomplete.  The conflict between free trade in industrial products and services, but the maintenance of protectionism in agricultural subsidies to domestic agricultural sectors (demanded by industrialized countries) and the justification for fair trade in agricultural products (demanded by developing countries) remain the main obstacles.