WTO: Okojo-Iweala Inches Closer To DG Position As Myung-hee Loses Support

by on November 24, 2020

By Adejumo Enock

There are strong indications that former Managing Director of World Bank, Ngozi Okonjo-iweala may be heading to the plum position of the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

This development is sequel to a publication from Washington Post on Tuesday indicating that the South Korean Government has decided to withdraw its Trade Minister and candidate for top job at World Trade Organization (WTO) Yoo Myung-hee.

Washington Post reported that the South Korean candidate has notified the US of its decision and is expected to make it public “in the coming days”.

Earlier Okonjo-Iweala had failed to secure the backing of United States President, Donald Trump but there are speculations that the table may turn following the unsuccessful reelection of Trump.

South Korea is expected to announce its decision in the coming days so as to allow the WTO’s General Council appoint Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

According to Washington Trade Daily, the Country has already conveyed its decision to the United States who are against the appointment of Okonjo-Iweala in Favor of Myung-hee.

The selection Panel headed by General Council Chair Ambassador David Walker recommended Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as she carried the largest support by members in the final round and clearly enjoyed broad support from Members from all levels of development and from all geographic region throughout the process.

In the same Vien, Ms. Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea failed to receive enough support from members from all levels of the development, which makes Okonjo-Iweala the widely accepted fellow for the appointment.

Furthermore, Ambassador David had earlier scheduled a General Council meeting for November 9 which was later postponed due to the Geneva Canton imposed new restrictions on meeting as result of the sudden rise of Covid-19.

Also, in order to arrive at a decision on the appointment of a DG, the Chairman has Scheduled another Council Meeting for December 17 which needs a minimum number of 82 members of the WTO General Council to arrive at a consensus.

The scheduled meeting might not hold if the current restrictions on meeting continues by December.

Furthermore, in order to arrive at a decision, a minimum number of 82 WTO General Council must be present at a meeting to deliberate on the appointment of the Nigeria’s former Finance Minister.

After the October 28 meeting, the WTO also said Okonjo-Iweala had the best chance of getting a consensus.

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