Inform | Inspire | Initiate

World Trade Organization to be headed by a woman for the first time

The World Trade Organization declared on Thursday that a Harvard-alumni former Nigerian finance minister and trade minister of South Korea have been nominated as the two finalists to become the next director-general, guaranteeing a woman at the top post. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria and Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea qualified for the final round out of five candidates in a contest expected to end in the forthcoming weeks, informed a selection committee.


In its 25 years of history, the World Trade Organization will be managed by a woman for the first time. In reference to a “personal decision,” the hitherto director-general Roberto Azevedo in a surprising pronouncement revealed in May that he would relieve himself off his duties as the director-general a year early. The Brazilian left without an heir on August 31.

“Both of the women that are in the final round are remarkably well qualified. This is something on which everyone has agreed. We’ve been impressed with them from the very beginning.”

The Economic Times reported WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell as saying.

“We need a capable & experienced new leader who can rebuild trust and restore relevance of the @WTO. I look forward to your continued support! Thank you!!!”

Okonjo-Iweala tweeted, thanking WTO members for their support and mentioned that she was happy to be in the final round. The winner is expected to be announced in early November.

Roberto Azevedo’s 7 years of service at the WTO was marked by intense pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, who persistently accused the WTO of biased treatment of the U.S. and set off a trade war with China in reluctance with the WTO’s management. The next director-general will have to face the confronting task of keeping Washington at hand if Trump manages a triumph for a second tenure.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More