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.
Thank you for the support @AUChair2020 your Excellency @CyrilRamaphosa. It will be a true honor to be Africa’s candidate and serve Africa and all @wto members if elected as DG. Motivated everyday by the support I receive. https://t.co/2gDaf7VccK
— Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (@NOIweala) October 9, 2020
Deeply grateful and honored to be selected for the final round in the selection process of the next @WTO Director General!
— Yoo Myung-hee (@YooMyunghee1) October 8, 2020
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.