WTO DG twist: Group urges US to back Okonji-Iweala

From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt

A passionate appeal has gone to the United States of America to rescind her decision against the nomination of Nigeria’s Dr Ngozi Okonji-Iweala as the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and join all the WTO member states to back her as the most credible person for the position.

The appeal came from the Africa Global Development for Positive Change Initiative (ADIafrica) recently in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, after a critical analysis of the unilateral stunning decision of the United States against the nomination of Dr Okonji-Iweala done by the 164 member states.

Speaking through its International President, Prince Dan Mbachi, ADIafrica wondered why the United States should brush aside the decision of all the member states that chose Dr Okonji-Iweala and stood alone in the nomination of South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.

It would be recalled that at the nomination of the Nigeria’s former Finance Minister and erstwhile Managing Director at the World Bank, Okonji-Iweala as the DG of WTO, United States kicked against the nominee on the ground that the organization needs real hands on experience in the field.

It was reported that the US has been critical of WTO’s handling of global trade and wants another woman, Ms Yoo, saying she could reform the body, that as an expert she has the skills necessary to be an effective leader of the organization.

The US President, Donald Trump is said to have described the WTO as “horrible” and allegedly biased towards China and some appointments to key roles in the organization have already been blocked.

But Okonji-Iweala had insisted that she has enough experience on trade. She is reported to have said that her broad experience in championing reform made her the right person to help put the WTO back on track.

Following the position of the US on the WTO nomination of DG, the organization has called a meeting for November 9, 2020, after the US presidential election to discuss the issue.

It is on this base ADIafrica stands to call on US to back Okonji-Iweala’s nomination as the Director General of WTO.

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