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FG Still Seeking Support On Final Round Of Consultations For Okonjo-Iweala As WTO Director General – Katagum

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The Nigerian Government has called on the United States to support the candidacy of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who secured overwhelming support of members of the World Trade Organisation both in terms of numbers and geographical spread in the third and final round of consultations for the selection of the DG-WTO which commenced in Geneva on 19th October, and concluded on 27th October.

Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum disclosed this at a virtual meeting with the Campaign Strategy Team for Nigeria’s candidate for the post of Director General, World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Minister who is also the chairperson of the campaign team said the meeting was to review and strategize on the way forward in the light of recent developments in the selection process for the appointment of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala.

She said the Chair of the WTO General Council, Amb. David Walker of New Zealand, with the Facilitators of the selection process, the Chair of the Dispute Settlement Body and the Chair of the Trade Policy Review Body (Troika), on 28th October at the meeting of WTO Heads of Delegation in Geneva, informed the Membership of the Nigerian candidate who was shoulder above other candidates and was most likely to gain consensus as DG-WTO. 

she quoted the chair as saying the appointment of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is expected to be adopted by consensus of all Members in line with WTO decision making procedure at a Special General Council Meeting scheduled for 9th November, 2020 but was however disrupted by the United States of America who registered reservation on the outcome of the final round in view of the fact that their preference is still the candidate of South Korea and further informed that they would not join the consensus in selecting Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as DG-WTO at the Special General Council of 9th November, 2020.

Amb. Katagum noted that Nigeria is currently reaching out to all Members of the WTO including the United States of America and South Korea to overcome the impasse as well as persuade the United States to join the consensus in adopting the recommendation of the appointment of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as DG-WTO.

She however, used the forum to express Nigeria’s gratitude to all Members of the WTO  that have supported Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the post of WTO Director-General as well as promising to reach out to other countries to secure the consensus needed in the final decision on her appointment as the next Director- General of the WTO. 

“We shall keep you updated on this issue and hope that, we would achieve the desired goal of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala securing appointment as the first African and the first female to Head the WTO” she said.

It would be recalled that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had issued a Press Release earlier on 29th October, 2020 on this development. Nigeria will continue to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure the emergence of Nigeria’s candidate as the next DG-WTO
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