WTO: FG reaches out to the United States, WTO members for Okonjo-Iweala




The federal government’s campaign Strategy Team for Nigeria’s candidate for the post of Director General, World Trade Organization (WTO) has confirmed reaching out to the United States and South Korea and other WTO member countries for the emergence of Ngozi Okonjo Iweala come November 9th at the Special General Council Meeting scheduled for 9th November, 2020.

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This development was confirmed on Friday at an emergency virtual meeting held which focuses on deepening efforts towards the emergence of the Nigeria’s candidate.

The meeting convened at the instance of the Minister of state for Industry,Trade and Investment Mariam Yalwaji Katagum is geared towards reviewing and strategizing on the way forward in the light of recent developments in the selection process for the appointment of Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in a statement issued informed that the third and final round of consultations for the selection of the DG-WTO which commenced in Geneva on 19th October, 2020 was concluded on 27th October, 2020.

Recall,the Chair of the WTO General Council, David Walker of New Zealand, with the Facilitators of the selection process, the Chair of the Dispute Settlement Body and the Chair of the Trade Policy Review Body (Troika), on 28th October at the meeting of WTO Heads of Delegation in Geneva, informed the WTO Membership that the Nigerian candidate for the WTO top job that Okonjo-Iweala secured overwhelming support of members both in terms of numbers as well as geographical spread and therefore emerged as the candidate most likely to gain consensus as DG-WTO.

The appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is expected to be adopted by consensus of all Members in line with WTO decision making procedure at a Special General Council Meeting scheduled for 9th November, 2020.

The United States of America,however has registered reservation on the outcome of the final round in view of the fact that their preference is still the candidate of South Korea and further informed that they would not join the consensus in selecting Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as DG-WTO at the Special General Council of 9th November, 2020.

Nigeria is currently reaching out to all Members of the WTO including the United States of America and South Korea to overcome the impasse as well as persuade the United States to join the consensus in adopting the recommendation of the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as DG-WTO.

The federal government in the statement lauded all Members of the WTO that have supported Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the post of WTO Director-General and would reach out to other countries to secure the consensus needed in the final decision on her appointment as the next Director- General of the WTO.

It would be recalled that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had issued a Press Release earlier on 29th October, 2020 on this development. Nigeria will continue to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure the emergence of Nigeria’s candidate as the next DG-WTO.

(BusinessDay)



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