Breaking! WTO DG: Coast Clear For Okonjo-Iweala As South-Korea Withdraws Candidate, Myung-hee

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  • Okonjo-Iweala Finally On Cusp Of History At WTO.. US Top Officials Court Biden’s Support For Her Bid

By Abiola Olawale

South Korea has held back its candidate for the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Yoo Myung-hee, making Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former finance minister, the sole candidate for the position.

A statement by South Korea’s trade ministry disclosed this on Friday. Myung-hee is her country’s Trade Minister.

According to Bloomberg report, the decision was made following a discussion with the United States (US) representatives and other representatives from major nation’s. The decision was made on the account that the organization needed to revitalize multilateral trade, something Okonjo-Iweala was keen on.

Myung-hee’s withdrawal is coming after several former US government officials supported the candidacy of Okonjo-Iweala in an open letter to President Joe Biden.

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It would be recalled that the administration of the immediate former president Donald Trump, refused to back the candidacy of Okonjo-Iweala, which led to the postponement of the WTO General Council meeting expected to ratify the emergence of the next DG.

The Trump’s administration had discarded the widespread support from over 100 of the 164 WTO member-states gained by Okonjo-Iweala over her rival, Myung-hee. This has subsequently stalled the emergence of Okonjo-Iweala as the DG of the WTO.

The New Diplomat had recently reported that many eminent erstwhile top government officials of the United States have pleaded with incumbent US President Joe Biden to quickly back the broad consensus-support already being enjoyed by former Nigeria’s minister of finance and a former managing director of the World Bank Okonjo-Iweala to lead the WTO.

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Among those who signed the letter, include former World Bank Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz and  a former United Nations envoy, John Negroponte.

According to eminent economist and Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Stiglitz  and  Ambassador Negroponte who endorsed the letter, Okonjo-Iweala “is a dynamic leader who has the vision to manage the Geneva-based trade body through an era of reform.”

The letter added: “Okonjo-Iweala is a uniquely qualified leader poised to help the WTO evolve and succeed for future generations…She is a leader who can also be relied on to pay due attention to the concerns many Americans have about global trade. She has what it takes to lead WTO reforms and take the organization into the future.”

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The letter added: “Okonjo-Iweala is a uniquely qualified leader poised to help the WTO evolve and succeed for future generations…She is a leader who can also be relied on to pay due attention to the concerns many Americans have about global trade. She has what it takes to lead WTO reforms and take the organization into the future.”

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, served as her country’s first female finance and foreign minister, and has a 25-year career behind her as a development economist at the World Bank, eventually becoming its number two.

She is also on the Twitter board of directors and is a special envoy for the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 fight.

She would not only be the first woman, but also the first African to lead the global trade body since inception.

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