Trump Exit, World Trade Organisation Confirms Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala As New Director-General

Iweala: A key priority would be to work with members to address economic, health consequences brought about by pandemic


After historic emergence as WTO chief

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala was confirmed DG of the trade body during a meeting of the WTO.

This dream becomes reality today not until after the change of power and ousted of the former U.S. president Donald Trump who had stood against the Nigerian nominee.

The U. S. government had last week announced its endorsement of Mrs Okonjo-Iweala for the top job.

She was confirmed DG of the trade body during a meeting of the WTO.

It became clear earlier on Friday that Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, a former World Bank executive, would likely clinch the coveted post after her final challenger to the position, South Korean Trade Minister and candidate, Yoo Myung-hee, announced her withdrawal.

 Immediately after her confirmation on Monday as the first female Director-General of the global trade body, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former Nigerian Minister of Finance, has spoken about her plan for the World Trade Organization.

When she takes office on March 1, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala will become the first woman and the first African to be chosen as Director-General. Her term, renewable, will expire on August 31, 2025.

“This is a very significant moment for the WTO. On behalf of the General Council, I extend our warmest congratulations to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as the WTO’s next Director-General and formally welcome her to this General Council meeting,” said General Council Chair David Walker of New Zealand who, together with co-facilitators Dacio Castillo (Honduras) and Harald Aspelund (Iceland) led the nine-month DG selection process.

“Dr Ngozi, on behalf of all members I wish to sincerely thank you for your graciousness in these exceptional months, and for your patience. We look forward to collaborating closely with you, Dr Ngozi, and I am certain that all members will work with you constructively during your tenure as Director-General to shape the future of this organization,” he added, according to a recording of the meeting release by the WTO.

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said a key priority for her would be to work with members to quickly address the economic and health consequences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am honoured to have been selected by WTO members as WTO Director-General,” said Mrs Okonjo-Iweala.

“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.”

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