WTO names Okonjo-Iweala one of two finalists in DG election

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The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has announced that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is one of the two final candidates in the director-general election.

This is the first time in the history of the WTO that it is certain that a woman will be the director-general.

Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea has been shortlisted alongside Okonjo-Iweala.

The former Nigerian minister for finance emerged from a shortlist of five which was selected from a pool of eight candidates.

At every stage of the election, member countries are required to choose a preferred candidate.

David Walker, the ambassador from New Zealand who is the general council chair for the selection committee, said the ultimate objective of the selection process is to secure a consensus decision by members on the next director-general.

“Our aim continues to be to encourage and facilitate the building of consensus among members and to assist in moving from this final slate of two candidates to a decision on appointment. As this is the final round of the consultation process, it should bring us to the point where we can make a recommendation to the General Council concerning that decision,” Walker said.

“As was the case for the first round, the entire membership remained fully engaged in and committed to this process. The facilitators and I are grateful for this very positive response. It is clear that all members attach great importance to this process.”

The third phase of consultations will commence on October 19 and run until October 27 after which Walker will then call a formal general council and present the recommendation to members for a formal decision.

“Following this third round of consultations, Amb. Walker will call another heads of delegations meeting at which the results will be announced to the WTO membership,” the WTO said.

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