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WTO: FG hails selection of Okonjo-Iweala as DG

By Felix Khanoba 

The Federal Government has described the selection of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the right choice which will do the organisation a lot of good in years to come.

Minister of Industry, Trade and lnvestment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, made this known in a speech delivered  via zoom at the Special General Council Meeting of the organisation in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday. 

He said the process of selection was not only transparent but the credit for the resulting success must go to the entire membership of the organisation. 

According to him, “Nigeria wishes to express profound gratitude and deep appreciation to all the members, who one way or the other, assisted Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala during the campaign period. Thanks also goes to all the regional groupings in the WTO for granting audience and support during and after the exercise. 

“We also thank the WTO Secretariat staff, translators and the press who worked really hard in supporting and providing updates to members and the general public on the DirectorGeneral selection process.”

The Minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Ifedayo Sayo, described Dr Okonjo-Iweala as one of the few on the global stage that enjoy high recognition in view of charismatic leadership qualities and proven records of excellence and integrity, along with international political connections. 

He stressed that “we believe that the new Director-General will lead this organization to achieve its purpose and mandate.”

He assured that the new Director General of WTO would not disappoint the organisation and all those who worked to make the appointment a reality, saying, “you will find her as a servant-leader who will always listen to you and work with you to achieve a common purpose.

“Mr. Chairman, Your Excellencies, may I take this opportunity to refresh our memories on the campaign promises made by Dr. Ngozi having clearly identified various challenges affecting the WTO as a multilateral organization, she shared her thoughts on possible solutions that would be brought on board for discussion, consideration and implementation with a view to ensuring that the full mandates and functions of the WTO are enforced in accordance with the highest expectations of members.

“She also assured that she would work hard, with the support of members, to uphold the image and integrity of the WTO as a multilateral institution that was established to serve members equally. Likewise, she will put more effort towards mediating among members to ensure that factors responsible for divergences on various negotiating issues are addressed and streamlined so that the MC-12 will have fruitful outcomes on some basic issues. 

“As a reformer, she has undertaken to work with members on the WTO reform agenda, including the urgent need to address the impasse of the Appellate in the Dispute Settlement Body in order for the WTO to be more focused, achievement oriented and acceptable to all members. New initiatives with the support of members will be introduced to source for more funds from other multilateral financial institutions in order to assist members in building their capacity to fully comply with their obligations and new trade initiatives in the WTO.

“Finally, Chair, Excellencies, we urge all members to give the new Director-General all the cooperation, support and solidarity that would be required for her to work with a view to making WTO a truly outstanding multilateral institution.”

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