WTO includes Okonjo-Iweala in final shortlist, evicts 3 candidates [Full list]

Ngozi Okonjo Iweala World Bank Davos World Economic Forum WTO accepts nomination of Okonjo Iweala as DG despite opposition from Egypt

Ngozi Okonjo Iweala World Bank Davos World Economic Forum WTO accepts nomination of Okonjo Iweala as DG despite opposition from Egypt

A report by Bloomberg on Friday said members of the global trade body chose to select Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, former Managing Director of the World Bank, along with four other candidates they considered the best fit for the next DG of the organisation as the race moves closer to the final phase in the coming weeks.

After a two-week consultation between envoys of the 164-member WTO, the global trade referring body retained Ms Mohamed, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria, Ms Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea, Mr Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri of Saudi Arabia and Dr Liam Fox of the United Kingdom.

The 25-year-old trade body has never had a leader who is female or from Africa.

The WTO's General Council, made up of ambassadors from the 164-member Geneva organization, ruled out Jesus Seade Kuri of Mexico, Tudor Ulianovschi of Moldova and Hamid Mamdouh of Egypt.

The new DG would succeed the former occupant of the position, Roberto Azevedo of Brazil, who offered to step down from office at the end of August, a year before his term was due to end.

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There are also a raft of delayed trade deals that are yet to be finalized as shifts in geopolitics and global trade put pressure on the next leader to reform a rule book on worldwide trade that hasn't been significantly revised in more than two decades.

The spokesman announced that the second round will begin on September 24 and continue through October 6. The WTO said it wants to select the victor by early November.

Trade experts and former WTO officials say the US presidential election could delay the process, but the body is hopeful it can stick to its deadline.

In theory, Azevedo's successor should be selected by November 7 under an agreed elimination process that is based on consensus.

"The process has gone smoothly", WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell told journalists, adding that the result of the first round was accepted by "the three delegations whose candidates are not progressing".

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