Former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been confirmed as the next Director-General of the World Trade Organization, on Monday.
She becomes the seventh director-general of the organization. This Appointment makes her the first woman and the first African to lead the global trade body.
Okonjo-Iweala was appointed by the WTO after the last remaining rival candidate; South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee, withdrew from the race. Her term starts on the 1st of March 2021 and will end on 31 August 2025.
Okonjo-Iweala Reacts to the appointment:
I am honoured to have been selected by WTO members as WTO Director-General. A strong WTO is vital if we are to recover fully and rapidly from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to working with members to shape and implement the policy responses we need to get the global economy going again. Our organization faces a great many challenges but working together we can collectively make the WTO stronger, more agile and better adapted to the realities of today.
After a long while of uncertainty that came up when the Trump administration refused to support Okonjo-Iweala and stood behind Yoo Myung-hee of Republic of Korea; Yoo's decision on 5 February to withdraw her candidacy; the administration of newly elected US President Joseph R. Biden Jr. dropped the US objection and announced instead that Washington extends its strong support to Dr Okonjo-Iweala.