Contrary to media circulation around Nigeria, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has not been confirmed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation. The race for who becomes the DG of WTO came down to two candidates, commendably, two women: Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung Hee.
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World Trade Organisation which was formed on the 1st of January 1995 has a total number of 164 member states and Roberto Azevedo of Brazil as the current DG. The important point to note as regards the 2020 DG race and the news in circulation is the fact that the WTO decision making is consensus-based. Votes are cast when consensus cannot be reached.
Thus, though Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is making strides towards becoming the first woman DG of the WTO by getting the endorsements of major members including France, Germany, and the WTO selection committee, the United States of America stands in her way. The US move will be a veto that will disrupt the whole process of getting a consensus.
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Okonjo Iweala, 66, who served twice as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance might have to wait until the meeting of the General Council set for November 9th for a consensus or it might just be put to a vote.
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