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WTO DG Election: Okonjo-Iweala, 4 Others Qualify For Next Round

Nigeria’s former Supervising Minister of Finance and one of the candidates contesting for the position of Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has won in the first run of the election.

By scaling the first hurdle in the electioneering process, Okonjo-Iweala and four others will now proceed to the second phase of the exercise.

The other contestants, who are from South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, and the UK, today advanced to the next round of voting after six days of confidential consultation with members.

In a briefing on the outcome of the election, Chairman of the WTO General Council, Amb. David Walker, told the Head of Delegation meeting that the WTO’s membership was committed and fully engaged in the consultation process.

He said: “Throughout the six days of consultations it was clear to us that the entire membership is both committed to and fully engaged in this process. Members consider all the candidates highly qualified and respected individuals.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the dignified manner in which they, their delegations, and their governments have conducted themselves in this process. Their willingness to engage, especially at these challenging times, has been greatly appreciated, and the organisation is in their debt,” Walker added.

During the consultations, Walker and his co-facilitators in the election process, posed to each delegation one question: “What are your preferences?” Members then submitted four preferences to the “troika” of ambassadors.

The facilitators are chair of the Trade Policy Review Body, Amb. Harald Aspelund; his Dispute Settlement Body counterpart, Amb. Dacio Castillo.

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