US stalls Okonjo-Iweala's appointment as WTO DG

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Despite securing the vote of 163 of the 164 members of the trade organisation, former coordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance of Nigeria, Ngozo Okonjo-Iweala could not be declared the head of the WTO because of the objection by the US, which cited lack of experience and procedural issues for its stance.

By the organisation’s selection rules, its DG has to emerge by consensus.


But the majority, according to sources close to the process, may assert its will at the general meeting of the organisation scheduled for November 9, using a proviso that allows a vote in the event of failure of consensus.



Ms. Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea, backed by the US, is Okonjo-Iweala’s sole opponent.


Okonjo-Iweala, who has locked in the support of China, the European Union, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean member-countries, has the best chance of attaining the consensus of membership of the global trade body, its General Council Chair, Mr. David Walker, said yesterday.


Spokesman for the WTO, Mr. Keith Rockwell, at a media briefing at the end of the meeting of the organisation, said: “The candidate that had the best chance of attaining a consensus of membership is Dr.



Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria. Consultations on the way forward will start immediately.”






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