Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala to be named DG of WTO as South Korean candidate withdraws from race

The South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee who was also a contesting for the Director-General position of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has withdrawn from the race.

This leaves Nigeria’s Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the only candidate for the job.

A photo combination of Nigeria’s Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (L) and South Korean Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee (R). Both women are in the running to lead the World Trade Organisation.Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
A photo combination of Nigeria’s Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (L) and South Korean Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee (R). Both women are in the running to lead the World Trade Organisation.Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

According to Bloomberg, Yoo decided to withdraw after she held discussions with the U.S. and other major nations.

A statement from Korea’s trade ministry indicated that Yoo withdrew her candidature after examining issues “comprehensively;” including the need to revitalize the multilateral organization.

Yoo withdrew after some former U.S government officials entreated President Joe Biden to support the election of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

This coming after the erstwhile Trump administration stalled her selection. According to the WTO procedures, the appointment of a WTO boss requires a consensus.

However, they opposed the appointment of the Nigerian. Even though she is the preferred choice of three WTO ambassadors tasked with finding a successor to Azevêdo.

She also has a wide cross-regional backing but the United States supports the other candidate, South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee.

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