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Chick-News.com Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

WTO Director General Confirmed

02/19/2021

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the first woman and the first African to hold the position of Director General of the World Trade Organization.  Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, a native of Nigeria, earned a baccalaureate degree from Harvard and a doctoral degree in economics from MIT.  She spent 25 years with the World Bank and was also Minister of Finance in her native country.

 

On May 14th, former Director-General Roberto Azevedo informed WTO members that he would step down from his post one year early to facilitate selection and appointment of a new Director General, considered necessary to implement a program of reform and revitalization

 

In accepting the position Dr. Okonjo-Iweala stated, “I am honored to have been selected by WTO members as the Director General.  A strong WTO is vital if we are to recover fully and rapidly from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.  I look forward to working with members to shape and implement the policy responses we need to get the global economy going again.  Our organization faces a great many challenges, but working together we can collectively make the WTO stronger, more agile, and better adapted to the realities of today.”

 

The nine-month selection process for Director General considered a number of qualified candidates including the Trade Minister of Korea, Yoo Muyng-hee. Ms. Yoo withdrew her candidacy on February 5th.  Although all members of the WTO endorsed the appointment of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, the U.S. objected to her selection.  In late January, President Joseph R. Biden reversed the objection registered by the U.S. and extended strong support for her candidacy.


 
Copyright © 2021 Simon M. Shane