United States has opposed Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the consensus candidate for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General (DG)
US said its support is for South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee, who is Okonjo-Iweala’s opponent in the race to lead the WTO.
WTO spokesman, Keith Rockwell, was quoted by AFP as saying 27 delegations had taken the floor during Wednesday’s meeting.
“One delegation could not support the candidacy of Dr. Ngozi and said they would continue (supporting) South Korean minister Yoo. That delegation was the United States of America,” he added.
Rockwell, further stated that Wednesday’s meeting “was never intended to make a final decision on our next DG.”
“That decision can only be taken by the General Council.”
With the US’ opposition, the WTO’s 164 member states still need to determine whether they will support her before their next General Council meeting on.
According to a tweet from Bryce Baschuk, “US Veto. Deputy US Trade Rep says U.S. won’t join consensus on Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for WTO Director General.”
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is a Development Economist with many years of experience and service in World Bank, she was also former Finance and Foreign Affairs Minister in Nigeria, who also serves on Twitter’s board of directors, as chair of the GAVI vaccine alliance and as a special envoy for the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 fight.
If she eventually gets a majority backing, she would be the first woman and the first African to lead the global trade body in its 25-year history.
“I feel the wind behind my back,” Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told a virtual press briefing after the 55-member African Union officially supported her