Okonjo-Iweala breaks the glass ceiling, may be announced first female DG of WTO today

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•China Quietly Tips The Scales In Nigeria’s Favour As EU, US Hit Deadlock…

•WTO’s Council To Officially Announce  Okonjo-Iweala’s Choice Today, Tuesday

•South Korea’s Candidate, Yoo Myung-hee To Formally Accept Decision Today

ABUJA – Nigeria’s former finance minister and a former managing director of the World Bank, Dr has emerged as the  first  female Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), shattering the glass ceiling.

Okonjo-Iweala broke the glass ceiling, emerging as the first African and the first female to attain the position of DG of WTO by emerging as the finalist after eliminating South Korea’s current  trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee in a fierce  battle for the coveted job on Monday night.

The New Diplomat Europe’s outpost office gathered that with the EU nations and the United moving in opposite direction, a move that triggered a deadlock between the two powerful geo-political allies for the first in many years, it was the decisive and quiet of China that finally tipped the scales in Okonjo-Iweala’s favour.

The WTO’s Walker-led General Council, the overall organ responsible for picking the organisation’s  next DG, would officially announce the choice of Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Dr Okonjo-Iweala today, October 27.

Diplomatic sources confided in The New Diplomat that an official announcement  to this effect would be formally made today by New Zealand’s Walker’s led WTO General Council.

The race for the coveted job of DG of WTO has been fierce with Nigeria’s  Okonjo-Iweala and  South Korea’s serving Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee,  running neck-and-neck in the intense jostle and game of global diplomatic intrigues.

Indications had emerged that influential global trading countries including the United (US), the European Union (EU) nations, China, Japan and the BRICS countries were strongly divided on who should be the candidate to lead the WTO.

-level sources confided in The New Diplomat’s Europe’s outpost operations that it “took serious negotiations and prolonged to China to go along with Nigeria with its decision to Okonjo-Iweala.” China controls about 12.4% of the global trade.

The influence of the United on global trade is reportedly huge as well  given that it single-handedly controls about 12% of global trade just as China holds about 12.4% of the global trade statistics.

Diplomatic sources hinted that East Asia countries with the exception of China went along with Myung-hee in preference. These include Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macay, Mongolia and South Korea.  Japan, a US ally is another strong international player in global trade with an estimated $705.7 billion worth of goods globally in 2020.

However, on Okonjo-Iweala’s side apart   the EU and 55 AU nations were 24 solid ACP countries that reportedly expressed preference for her candidacy. The CP countries in this regard include Bahamas, Cuba, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica Republic, Dominica, Greneda, Fiji, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Timor-Lester, Parpua New Guinea, etc.

A combination of this preponderance form about 79 block countries that solidly stood behind Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala. However, it was the quiet and deft diplomacy of China that sealed the deal in Okonjo-Iweala’s favour.

A top diplomat in Geneva told The New Diplomat in confidence: “China quietly changed the game. They said nothing openly but silently they, deftly China voted in Nigeria’s favour.”

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, served as Nigeria’s first female finance and later foreign minister, and has a 25-year career behind her as a development economist and international finance expert at the World Bank, eventually becoming its number two. She is also on Twitter’s board of directors and is a special envoy for the World Health Organisation’s fight.

Thus, Okonjo-Iweala has successfully edged out South Korea’s Myung-hee. Yoo Myung-hee 53, is the serving South Korea’s trade minister, following a long career in trade, diplomacy, law and foreign affairs. She had previously served as South Korea’s foreign Affairs minister, among others. A lawyer and diplomat, Myung-hee holds degrees in Law, Public and was called to the New York Bar.

major implication of this is that China has somewhat stamped its feet on the global diplomatic and economic dynamics as an indispensable , having deftly supported Okonjo-Iweala  to victory as the US and EU purportedly cancelled themselves in a diplomatic deadlock.

Already, China is the biggest economy in the world in terms of P3, the Purchasing Parity. Thus, the consequence of this on the global scale, according to diplomats, is quite telling. (The New Diplomat)