Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has scaled a major bundle in the race of becoming the next Director-General World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the World Trade Organization has reduced the number of candidates to five.
WTO in a Tweet on its official handle @wto on Friday announced that the five “candidates will be moving on for members’ further consideration in the next round of consultations, which resume on 24 September.”
In an update derived from the website of WTO, the Organisation said that five candidates were chosen from eight others after due consultations.
“The General Council Chair David Walker of New Zealand informed members on 20 May 2020 the appointment process for the next Director-General would formally commence on 8 June with nominations accepted from that date until 8 July.
“At the end of the nomination period, eight candidates had been nominated by their respective governments. From 15 to 17 July, all of the candidates met with WTO members at a special General Council meeting, at which they had the opportunity to present their views and take questions from the membership.
“The second phase of the process in which the candidates “make themselves known to members” ended on 7 September. From 7 to 16 September, Ambassador Walker, together with the Chair of the Dispute Settlement Body (Dacio Castillo of Honduras) and the Chair of the Trade Policy Review Body (Harald Aspelund of Iceland) consulted with all WTO members to assess their preferences and seek to determine which candidate is best placed to attract consensus support.
“At a Heads of Delegation meeting on 18 September, Amb. Walker and his two co-facilitators in the selection process disclosed the five candidates who had secured the broadest and deepest support from the WTO membership and should consequently advance to the next stage of the process.
“Amb. Walker said the second phase of consultations will begin on 24 September and run until 6 October. During this time, members will be asked in the confidential consultations to express two preferences to the facilitators with an eye to bringing the number of candidates from five to two.
“Following this process, Amb. Walker will call another Heads of Delegations meeting at which the results will be announced to the WTO membership. The timetable for the third and final round of consultations will be announced at that time
“In consultations with Amb. Walker, Amb. Dacio Castillo of Honduras and Amb. Harald Aspelund of Iceland, WTO members indicated that the five candidates who should advance are Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria, Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea, Amina C. Mohamed of Kenya, Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Liam Fox of the United Kingdom.
Walker adds that the second phase of consultations will begin on September 24 and run until October 6.
Dr.Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Former Minister of Finance and Former Managing Director of the World Bank has behind her the support of her country and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)