There are eight persons contesting for the position of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The present occupant of the office of the WTO director-general, Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, has announced he will step down on 31 August 2020, giving opportunity for persons to take over the office. His tenure was expected to expire in 2021. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is the Nigerian candidate to contest with other seven candidates for the position.
Others are Dr. Jesús Seade Kuri from Mexico; Mr. Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh from Egypt; Mr. Tudor Ulianovschi from Moldova; Ms Yoo Myung-hee from Republic of Korea; Ms. Amina C. Mohamed from Kenya; Mr. Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Dr. Liam Fox from United Kingdom. The eight candidates were nominated by their respective governments to contest for the position of the director general of the organization
As part of the selection process, a press conference was organized by the WTO to avail each of the contestants opportunity to address the world on their preparedness for the World Trade Organisation. WTO said the press conference is part of the selection process.
According to the WTO, the press conference will be held in the WTO from 15 to 17 July, 2020. Each press conference will take place after the candidate has met with members at a special General Council meeting. All of the press conferences will be streamed live, with a recording made available after each event.
Press conference timetable is as follows.
15 July Dr. Jesús Seade Kuri (Mexico) — 13:15 h
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria) — 17:00 h
Mr. Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh (Egypt) — 18:30 h
Mr. Tudor Ulianovschi (Moldova) — 13:00 h
Ms. Yoo Myung-hee (Republic of Korea) — 17:00 h
Ms. Amina C. Mohamed (Kenya) — 18:30 h
Mr. Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) — 12:00 h
Dr. Liam Fox (United Kingdom) — 13:30 h
In a report made by New York Times from the press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Okonjo Iweala told President Donald Trump of the United States not to pull out of the World Trade Organisation. She said rather leaving the organization, there are possibilities of reforming the system to meet everyone’s needs.
According to the New York Times, the US has been a great critic of the WTO. The WTO and World Health Organisation (WHO) are the two world organizations US is planning to leave.
But at the conference, Okonjo Iweala said this is not the time to leave, rather she insisted that what needed to be fixed should be fixed for better performance.
In an interview posted on facebook by WTO, she said: “Trade is important for economic recovery and prosperity in the 21st century. The WTO is right at the centre of that. My vision for the WTO is to serve with purpose where trade is seen as a means of delivering sustainable growth and cheer prosperity. A WTO with trust where members work together for the good of the multilateral trade system.”