WTO To Reach Decision On Appointment Of New DG On February 15

WTO Suspends Conference Over New COVID-19 Variant

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has stated that its general council, the top decision-making arm of the organization, will consider the appointment of a new director-general on February 15.

The trade organization made the announcement via a statement it released on Tuesday, on its website, stating that the general council will have a virtual meeting.

“The WTO’s General Council will hold a special meeting on 15 February at 15:00 Geneva time to consider the appointment of the next Director-General. The meeting will take place in virtual format,” the statement read.

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Recently, Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea’s candidate for the WTO top job, withdrew her candidacy.

This means that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is now the sole candidate left in the race.

If confirmed by consensus, she will be the first female WTO DG and the first African to head the organisation.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former finance minister, had secured the popular vote by a wide margin on October 28, 2020 but was not named DG because the US opposed her candidacy.

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After the October meeting, the WTO said Okonjo-Iweala had the best chance of getting a consensus.

The US had said it favoured Yoo over Okonjo-Iweala because WTO is in dire need of reform and must be “led by someone with real, hands-on experience in the field”. The Donald Trump-led administration suggested that the race be reopened.

However, the US government led by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris expressed strong support for Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy as WTO DG.

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