Tag Archives: WTO

WTO: U.S. refuses Nigerian candidate for top job

The leadership race for the World Trade Organization has been thrown into disarray after the United States opposed the appointment of former Nigerian finance and Foreign affairs minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, whose candidacy has been also supported by the European Union. The American delegation has not explained the reasons of the refusal.

Following discussions among EU leaders during their summit in Brussels last week, the bloc agreed to back the Nigerian Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala after a period of reflection, caused by a number of member-states opinion to give preference to the South Korean candidate Yoo Myung-hee for the job of the next director-general of the WTO.  Ambassadors from the EU’s 27 member states confirmed on Monday, October 26, that the bloc would support the African candidate Dr.Okonjo-Iweala.

The WTO’s decision-making process is based on consensus, and either candidate will need to win the blessing of all 164 members.

WTO: EU supports Nigerian candidate

Brussels 26.10.2020 According to an EU official the bloc has taken decision to put its weight behind the Nigerian candidate D.Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the post of WTO Director-General to succeed the current Director-General, Mr Roberto Azevêdo, who has announced he will step down on 31 August 2020.

Apparently the discussion took place at the latest EU Council, some member-states were not ready define their preferences, and it took a lot of effort from the president Charles Michel to reach consensus in this matter.
The choice of an African candidate is a “strong signal in support of the multilateral order”, the official added.
The decision is also symbolising the EU trust in Africa, and underlines the significance of the relations between two continents.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala brings more than 30 years of development and financial expertise to the Gavi Board. She has twice served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, most recently between 2011 and 2015 – a role that encompassed the expanded portfolio of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy. In 2006 she served as Foreign Affairs Minister. She has also held several key positions at the World Bank, including as Managing Director.

As a former Finance Minister, Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s experience and expertise are particularly valuable as Gavi strives to ensure that immunisation programmes are financially sustainable. Her strong commitment to finding private sector solutions to development challenges further contributes to Gavi’s mission.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala is currently a senior adviser at Lazard and serves on the boards of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Center for Global Development, among others. She is also the chair of African Risk Capacity, a specialised agency of the African Union to help member states prepare for and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters.

Being one of renown economists, she was named by Fortune magazine as one of the 50 greatest world leaders in 2015, and by Forbes for five consecutive years as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world. In 2014, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was recognised by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

Dr.Okonjo-Iweala is the author of several books including “Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria”, published in 2012.

A development economist and former Finance Minister of Nigeria, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been the Board Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, since 1 January 2016.

Kenyan aims at WTO top job

Kenya’s candidate to become the next Director-General of the World Trade Organisation pledged on September 23 to integrate climate change issues into the WTO agenda if selected.

“Honoured to be selected to advance to the next round in the selection process to appoint the next WT Director General! I would like to thank all the WTO Members who entrusted me with their support. I will continue to engage with Members ahead of the next rounds” Ms.Mohamed wrote on her micro blog Twitter.

Amina Mohamed, who is the Kenya’s sports minister, progressed to the second round of selection to become the next director-general of the WTO, along with four other candidates, on September 25.

“How is it possible that the WTO does not discuss climate change?… WTO must be a part of the global conversation on climate change,” Ms.Mohamed said to an online media briefing from Geneva.

Mohamed, who was involved in the development of green financial instruments when she was the deputy head of the U.N. agency for the environment (UNEP), said she would make the WTO’s trade and environment committee active.