Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala appointed WTO Director-General

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NEW DELHI: Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was appointed the seventh Director-General of the World Trade Organization on Monday, making her the primary girl and the primary African to move the multilateral commerce physique from March 1, 2021 to August 31, 2025.

“The decision was taken by consensus at a special meeting today of the organization’s General Council,” mentioned an official.

Okonjo-Iweala is the previous Finance Minister of Nigeria and World Bank economist.

The US, beneath the Donald Trump-administration, had blocked Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment in October regardless of sturdy endorsement from virtually all WTO members together with India.

However, the Joe Biden administration, prolonged the US’ help to Okonjo-Iweala earlier this month following which South Korea’s candidate-Yoo Myung-hee- withdrew from the race.

Okonjo-Iweala mentioned a key precedence for her could be to work with members to rapidly deal with the financial and well being penalties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“A strong WTO is vital if we are to recover fully and rapidly from the devastation wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic,” she mentioned, including that the WTO faces many challenges.

She takes cost at a time when developed nations have challenged the event agenda of the WTO akin to particular and differential remedy provisions and opposed an India-South Africa joint proposal for a short lived waiver of TRIPS obligations to make sure uninterrupted circulation of vaccines to the creating and least developed nations.

The course of for choosing a brand new Director-General was triggered on May 15 when former Director-General Roberto Azevêdo introduced to step down from his submit one yr earlier than the expiry of his mandate. He subsequently left workplace on August 31, 2020.

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