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WTO: We’re Keeping The Positivity Going, Says Okonjo-Iweala Amid US Opposition



Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Despite opposition from the United State, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former Nigerian finance minister, who recently won her bid for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has said she would maintain her positive spirit.

According to Reuters, the US refused to support the candidature of Okonjo-Iweala who won the WTO DG race with support from 104 of all 164 member countries of the international organisation.

Sources, according to The Cable, say the US does not consider the former Nigeria finance minister as being committed enough to the interests of the world power at the flagship trade body.

Unlike the World Bank where the US has a larger voting power than other countries, the WTO is run differently, by the consensus of every member country.

However, in a Twitter post on Thursday, Okonjo-Iweala said she was happy for the success and continued progress of her bid.

She added that despite the obstacles in her race she will move on to the next step on November 9 when the general council meeting of the global trade organisation will hold.

“Happy for the success & continued progress of our @wto DG bid. Very humbled to be declared the candidate with the largest, broadest support among members & most likely to attract consensus,” she wrote.

“We move on to the next step on Nov 9, despite hiccups. We’re keeping the positivity going!”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, said it will continue to engage stakeholders to ensure that Okonjo-Iweala emerges DG of the WTO.

Ferdinand Nwonye, Spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, in a statement on Thursday, said Nigeria will continue to consult with stakeholders ahead of the WTO’s general council meeting.

“The ministry of foreign affairs wishes to inform that the third and final round of the selection process of thc director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was concluded On Tuesday, 27th October, 2020 and the result was formally announced on Wednesday, 28th October, 2020,” the statement reads.

“The candidate from Nigeria, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has secured the support of majority of the member countries but is yet to be declared and returned the winner.

“This is because apart from winning the election, all 164 member states of WIO were expected to adopt the winner by consensus; in accordance with the rule of procedure of the WTO.

“It is important to highlight that Dr Okonjo-lweala has secured cross-regional backing with only the United States opposing the consensus.

“Nigeria will continue to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure that the lofty aspiration of her candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation is realised.”

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