Except for any unforeseen circumstances, Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala would be named as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization.
WTO members are currently choosing between Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee, the first woman from her country to head the Ministry of Commerce.
While the selection process is expected to end on or before November 7, it was learnt that the former finance minister had already secured 104 votes from 164 member countries of the WTO.
A breakdown of the 104 votes showed that Okonjo-Iweala had 54 votes from Africa, 27 from Europe, while China and Japan were said to have also voted for her.
She is expected to succeed Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, who unexpectedly left the WTO at the end of August, a year early.
Okonjo-Iweala who is a former World Bank Managing of the World Bank will have to face the economic crisis and a trade war between the two leading world economic powers, China and the United States.
The EU described the planned reforms to be implemented by Okonjo-Iweala as ” a key source for the legitimacy and accountability that is needed now more than ever to increase acceptance of international trade among the world’s population.”
Also, the EU said her plan on the empowerment of women aligns with its global priorities.
It added, “We also appreciated the energy with which she is likely to approach her new role. It appears to us that her personal approach is what is needed now to resolve the key questions at the organisation.
” Dr. Okonjo-Iweala appears to be well-equipped for being the fair broker who could bring key players together and help them find the compromises that will be needed to resolve the WTO‘s complex set of challenges and the deep disagreements between its members.
“We therefore very much hope that the EU will be able to support Dr. Okonjo-Iweala‘s candidacy during the last round.”
Okonjo-Iweala had said she is the best candidate to end the United States-China trade war when she gets the position of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
She said the five-day abduction of her mother, Kamene Okonjo, in 2012 was more challenging compared with brokering peace between China and the US.
She said, “Would you be more scared if your mother was kidnapped and held to ransom with a demand that you resign your job publicly on television – or else you would not see her alive – or if you said to the US and China, you have to bridge your differences?
“It’s going to be a tough task but you can’t compare it with what I’ve had to go through,” she told The Telegraph.
She said that it would be tough reforming the WTO.
She said, “WTO reform will be tough – but I’ve delivered hard reform before, including reform of countries’ trade regimes. In addition to this, I’m the only candidate working at the intersection of trade and public health.
“The WTO has to be part of the solution to the Covid-19 pandemic. The WTO has rules on how, in a public health emergency, you can invoke the possibility for countries to license products and produce them to make them more affordable and accessible.”
Okonjo-Iweala is the current chair of the board at GAVI, the vaccine alliance.
[Culled From The Whistler]
NEWSIE EVENTS MEDIA TEAM Follow Us On Twitter,Instagram & Facebook
@NewsieEvents,I.G newsieevents, Facebook Newsie Events