WTO to Affirm Okonjo-Iweala as DG Today

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The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has scheduled a special meeting of its General Council for Monday (today), where Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is expected to be formally announced as the Director General.

According to a notification seen by THISDAY last week, the only agenda for today’s meeting is to, “consider the appointment of the next WTO Director-General.”

The United State government penultimate week gave its formal approval to the emergence of Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director General, thereby removing the final obstacle to her bid to be the first woman and the first African to run the Geneva-based trade body.

Okonjo-Iweala had last October secured the vote of 163 of the 164 members of the trade organization, but could not be declared the head of the WTO because the organisation’s selection rules stipulate that its DG has to emerge by consensus.

South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee, backed by the US, was Okonjo-Iweala’s sole opponent after other contestants withdrew from the race last year. She had recently announced her withdrawal from the race, after discussions with the United States and other major nations.