Okonjo-Iweala hopes for global support for WTO top position

Dr. Okonjo Iweala
Dr. Okonjo Iweala

Nigeria called for global support for its nominee as the World Trade Organization ( WTO) election process for Director-General post which began on Monday in Geneva on Monday.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s two-time finance minister and a growth economist, is running for the position with candidates from Mexico, Egypt, Moldova, UK, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and South Korea.

At a reception held in Geneva to seek support for Iweala, Minister of Trade and Investment Mr Adebayo Adeniyi described her as a global icon with demonstrated leadership skills needed by the WTO.

Adeniyi, who was represented by Mr Abdulhamid Adamu, Nigerian Trade Office chief of affairs in Geneva, identified some of Iweala ‘s accomplishments as spearheading negotiations and reforms that strengthened government accounts accountability and strengthened institutions against corruption, among others.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) informs that in the first round of the election process. Amb David Walker, Chair of the General Council of the WTO and his colleagues from the Dispute Settlement Body, Mr Dacio Castillo and those of the Trade Policy Review Body, Mr Harald Aspelund will launch consultations with all members of the WTO.

The consultation seeks to evaluate their priorities in order to decide which candidate is better positioned to receive majority support. Three candidates will be withdrawn at the conclusion of the first consultation process thus clearing the way for five candidates to step on to the next stage.

Okonjo-Iweala expressed her readiness for the job in an interview with NAN saying she possessed the required skills. “I want our partners and members of the WTO to know that at this time I have the bundle of skills needed to lead the organization and put it forward and face it into the future.

“I ‘m hoping they’ll support me.” I’ve had constructive discussions with WTO members and really feel good and confident but nothing is done until it’s done. So I’m not going to want to be too confident, “she said.

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