WTO DG: Okonjo-Iweala Thanks US, Others For Support

The World Trade Organisation consensus candidate, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has expressed gratitude to Nigerians and the United States  for their role in her emergence as the consensus candidate for the Director- General role.

Nigeria’s former Finance Minister made the statement after the United States government  finally joined the other 164 members of the block to endorse Okonjo-Iweala.

She said, “Grateful for the expression of support from the US today for DG @WTO. Congratulations to Madam Yoo of Rep. Korea for a hard fought campaign. Thank You President Muhammadu Buhari and all Nigerians for your unflinching support. Thank you friends. Love to my family. Glory to God.”

The statement released by US office of Trade Representative paves way for the Nigerian to emerge as the first female and black to take up the role of WTO D-G.

Prior to the US endorsement, South Korean Trade Minister and Okonjo-Iweala’s final challenger, Yoo Myung-hee, announced her withdrawal on Thursday after consultation with the US and other countries.

But before her emergence, President Muhammadu Buhari had last year said in a statement that the country was in talks with the US, South Korea and other WTO countries to ensure the US joined the consensus.

The WTO members had in October 2020 selected Okonjo-Iweala and Ms Yoo to advance to the final round in the race to lead the Geneva-based trade body.

Majority of the WTO members endorsed, Okonjo-Iweala candidature, but former US President Donald Trump’s administration stalled her confirmation for the job.