GENEVA - home to numerous international organisations - has secured the bid to host the headquarters of the new World Trade Organisation (WTO). The city was chosen by consensus over a rival bid by Germany to site the WTO in Bonn. WTO, the new trade body, will replace the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) next year. Geneva is host to many organisations, including the International Labour Organisation, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the UN's European headquarters and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, among others. The Hong Kong Government is also represented in Geneva. The Swiss city has often been the staging ground for hundreds of international conferences, meetings, summits and gatherings of world leaders. It has been the venue for discussions on Asian issues ranging from refugee crises in Hong Kong and human rights in East Timor, to security concerns in North Korea. China's re-entry to GATT has also been raised at various meetings in Geneva. Most recently, Geneva hosted talks between Washington and Pyongyang on the nuclear issue. Mediators from Western Europe and Washington regularly meet in Geneva to seek ways to contain the Muslim-Croat bloodbath in Bosnia. Since 1948, when the GATT was founded, the organisation has been located in the city. Recently, the preparatory committee for the WTO, comprising envoys from 123 members of GATT, decided that Geneva would be its headquarters. A consensus emerged on the issue after the sub-committee on finance made the recommendation in favour of Geneva. Decision-making by consensus on crucial issues is the rule in GATT. A final decision was reached after intense lobbying by each contender. The Swiss press described it as a ''David and Goliath'' battle. Swiss officials had even alleged that Germany was using its influence to promote Bonn's case. Germany's offer to host the WTO head office in Bonn was made during the GATT summit in Morocco in April when the WTO's creation, at the beginning of next year, was agreed. Each city put different incentives on the table to tempt a decision in its favour. While Bonn offered rent-free use of a modern building, Switzerland said it would transfer full ownership of the Centre William Rappard, the lakeside site that has been used by GATT. In addition, Swiss officials made an offer to build a modern facility for the free use of WTO. Last month, German officials took their campaign to the meeting of European Union leaders in Corfu, Greece, hoping to win Europe's support for the bid by Bonn.