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Okonjo-Iweala speaks out after U.S. opposed her WTO appointment

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Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has spoken out for the first time since the United States held up her appointment as new boss of the World Trade Organisation.

On Wednesday Okonjo-Iweala secured majority of votes to become the first African to head the World Trade Organization.

Member countries in the European Union and ECOWAS all endorsed her candidacy.

Okonjo-Iweala who was the only African left in the race beat South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee for the top role.

But the United States’ opposition to her candidacy forced the General Counsel to postponed its announcement of the new Director-General.

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In a statement on Twitter, Okonjo-Iweala said she was “Happy for the success & continued progress of our WTO Director General bid.”

She also revealed how humbled she was “to be declared the candidate with the largest, broadest support among members & most likely to attract consensus.”

“We move on to the next step on Nov 9, despite hiccups. We’re keeping the positivity going!” she added.

A further meeting will now take place on November 9; after the US presidential elections to complete the process.

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Once the process is completed next month, Okonjo-Iweala should succeed Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, who unexpectedly left the WTO at the end of August, a year early.

Okonjo-Iweala previously served as Nigeria’s finance minister on two occasions and once as a foreign affairs minister.

She also served as former managing director of the World Bank and as a chairperson at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.

US holds up announcement of Okonjo-Iweala as WTO boss


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