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WTO: Okonjo-Iweala becomes sole candidate as South Korean withdraws

By Ralph Christopher 

South Korea’s candidate for the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Yoo Myung-Hee, has announced she will withdraw from the race.

The decision clears the path for Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who the General Council announced late last year as the consensus candidate.

The World Trade Organization’s General Council Chairpereon, David Walker, announced in last October, that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had garnered the most support among WTO members to become the next global trade chief, but her appointment was vetoed by the United States.

Interestingly, Korea’s Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, announced on Friday that she would withdraw her candidacy for the next World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General.

Korea will continue to work with responsibility for the restoration of the multilateral trading system, she stated.

NOI, as she is fondly called, will be the first female and first African to head the WTO if affirmed by its 164 members.

Myunghee1’s withdrawal does not mean @NOIweala immediately becomes the WTO next Director-General.

That appointment is taken in a formal decision by the WTO’s 164 members.

Since the US is the only WTO member blocking Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy, it remains to be seen whether the President Joe Biden’s administration will reverse the Donald Trump administration’s veto and support Okonjo-Iweala.

If there is no opposition from any WTO members, the chairman of the WTO General Council, David Walker, can announce the resumption of the WTO meeting suspended last October to consider the appointment of a new Director-General.

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