Most EU Members Have Backed Okonjo-Iweala For WTO DG - Diplomats

28 Octobre, 2020, 21:26 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • President Moon Jae-in speaks with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the phone at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Oct. 27 2020 in this

The WTO's Ambassador Walker-led General Council, the overall organ responsible for picking the organisation's next DG, would officially announce the choice of Nigeria's former Finance Minister, Dr Okonjo-Iweala today, October 27.

She polled 104 votes from 164 member countries to defeat South Korea's Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, at the final stage of the race.

With the European Union and Japan reportedly backing Nigeria's World Trade Organization candidate, South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee faces an uphill battle in the race to claim the top job of the worldwide trade body.

Bloomberg had initially reported that the USA was leaning towards Yoo Myung-hee, the South Korean candidate.

The WTO General Council Chair, David Walker, has just reported on the results of the consultations to appoint the next #WTODG as members prepare way forward in selection process. "That delegation was the United States of America", WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell told reporters at the group's headquarters in Geneva after the closed-door meeting.

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, served as Nigeria's first female finance and later foreign minister, and has a 25-year career behind her as a development economist and global finance expert at the World Bank, eventually becoming its number two.

The race for the coveted job of DG of WTO has been fierce with Nigeria's Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea's serving Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, running neck-and-neck in the intense jostle and game of global diplomatic intrigues.

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Based on informate wey BBC Pidgin don confam, dis one mean say di way don dey clear for madam Okonjo-Iweala to become di African to head di global trade watchdog in 25-year history.

She came into the president's office accompanied by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubair Dada.

The WTO has called a meeting for Nov 9, less than a week after the USA presidential election. Predecessor Roberto Azevedo, a Brazilian, stepped down with a year left in his term as WTO reforms stalled.

The organization also is coping with a crippled dispute settlement system after the US blocked the appointment of several judges to its Appellate Body, accusing the court of overreaching and over-interpreting WTO agreements.

High-level sources confided in The New Diplomat's Europe's outpost operations that it "took serious negotiations and prolonged talks to get China to go along with Nigeria with its decision to support Okonjo-Iweala".

"I am a reform candidate and I think the WTO needs the reform credentials and skills now". "I'm pragmatic, and I'm solutions oriented".

The economist, who also sits on the board of Twitter, cited in her interview with Nikkei an urgency to update the WTO's rulebook to address new challenges such as digital trade.

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