Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become the first woman and the first African to lead the World Trade Organization
The way has been cleared for Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become the first woman and the first African to lead the World Trade Organization after the South Korean candidate withdrew from the race for the post.
Yoo Myung-hee South Korea’s trade minister announced his decision to step down in a televised briefing on Friday.
Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s economist and former finance minister, already had broad support from members of the WTO, including the European Union, China, Japan and Australia.
Yes under the Trump administration, had favored Yoo, complicating the decision-making process since the selection of a new leader requires all WTO members to agree. The formal selection of Okonjo-Iweala may have to wait until the United States has appointed a new trade representative. said its decision was taken after “close consultation” with the United States. The WTO is without a leader for too long, she added.
The Geneva-based body charged with promoting free trade has not had a permanent director general since Roberto Azevêdo resigned as a year earlier than expected in late August after the WTO was caught in the midst of a growing trade struggle between the United States. The Trump administration has been very critical of the WTO and has undermined its reputation by imposing tariffs on Canada, Mexico, China and the European Union, and Okonjo-Iweala will take control. of an organization that fought to prevent trade among its members.
While U.S. President Joe Biden has already taken steps to restore support for multilateral institutions, he is expected to exercise caution when signing new trade deals.
In a speech to the State Department on Thursday, Biden pledged to restore diplomacy center of US foreign policy, but also carefully stressed that foreign policy should benefit middle-class Americans.
Okonjo-Iweala, who hails from one of the few parts of the world where free trade is on the rise, divided CNN in August saying that trade would play an important role in recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
This is what she said “The WTO needs a leader right now. It needs a fresh look, a fresh face, an outsider, someone in is able to reform and work with members Sure, the WTO comes from t partial paralysis she is in, “she said in an interview.
Okonjo-Iweala spent 25 years as a development economist at the World Bank and rose to the position of Manag. She was also chairman of the board of Gavi, which is responsible for the spread of coronavirus worldwide – Vaccines and is stepping down at the end of her term in December.
Source: Ghana web