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WTO: New hurdle emerges for Okonjo-Iweala

(NNP) As the World Trade Organization seeks to address the leadership impasse occasioned by the United States’ objection to Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s recommendation as the next director-general, the surging cases of the Corona virus in Switzerland (and much of Europe) where the WTO is located, has complicated matters.

On Sunday, the authorities announced strict new measures to contain the rising number of cases and hospitalizations with lockdown commencing on Nov. 2 to Nov. 29. This means the general membership meeting of the WTO to address and possibly confirm Dr. Okonjo-Iweala as the new director-general would be severely impacted with the authorities insisting on a limit of five per gathering to contain the spread. Though virtual meetings could serve as an alternative, WTO officials are discussing the possibility of postponing their meeting scheduled for Nov. 9 to address the leadership impasse.

On October 28, the United States objected to Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s recommendation in favor of her South Korean opponent, Yoo Myung-hee, who is her country’s trade minister. A statement released by the United States Trade Office stated that with the world trade body badly in need of reforms, the South Korean candidate was more suitable given her 25-year experience in dealing in international trade.

In the meantime, the Nigerian government has swung into action to lobby the South Korean and U.S. governments in a bid to achieve a consensus on Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy. If confirmed, the two-time Nigerian finance minister will be the first woman and African to hold the post.


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Posted by on Nov 2 2020. Filed under Africa & World Politics, Headlines, Women Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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