WTO: General Counsel Postpones Announcement of New DG


The General Counsel of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will announce on Monday, November 9th, 2020 the appointment of a new Director-General of the Global Organization.This was the major takeaway from a press briefing held by the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday.

As of 3 pm on Wednesday 28, 2020 the expectation was that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala the forefront candidate from Nigeria who had gathered 104 votes out of the 164 possible votes from member nations of the organization would  be announced .

 However, according  to the WTO General Counsel, the last-ditch efforts by the United States of America to overturn the possible appointment of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala led to the delay in announcing the WTO’s new helmsperson.

The Former Nigerian Finance Minister had secured the support of the European Union, China, the African Union, and the Caribbean and Pacific nations. Okonjo-Iweala’s major rival for the top job is the South Korean Trade Minister Ms. Moo Hyung-Hee. 

The WTO General Counsel in its briefing through the organization’s media and communications team said there would be broad consultations in the next 2 weeks to achieve a final confirmation for a new Director-General.

The United States of America at the moment has expressed its preference for South Korea’s Hyung-Hee as the WTO’s new DG. 

Observers note that if Okonjo-Iweala is confirmed as Director-General she would likely lead the organization towards greater trade multilateralism, a disposition the US currently does not favour.

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