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WTO To Ratify Okonjo-Iweala Appointment As DG Feb. 15

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Okonjo-IwealaThe World Trade Organi­sation (WTO) said it will consider the appointment of a new Director-Gener­al on February 15.

The trade organization on Tuesday, in a state­ment on its website, said the General Council, its top decision-making body, will have a virtual meet­ing.

“The WTO’s General Council will hold a spe­cial meeting on February 15 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.

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 organization.

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.

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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