WTO: AU ignores opposition, reiterates support for Okonjo-Iweala

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The African Union (AU) has reiterated its unwavering support for Nigeria’s candidate for the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by AU Chairperson on the nomination of the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa.

AU commended the WTO member states for following an agreed fair, robust, and transparent process in the election of the next Director-General of the WTO.

It stated that the organization would follow due process to ensure that Dr Okonjo-Iweala emerges WTO DG.

“His Excellency, Mr Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Union (AU), commends all WTO member states for following an agreed fair, robust, and transparent process in the election of the next Director-General of the WTO.

“This process, led by the Chair of the General Council assisted by two others to comprise a Troika, has been followed meticulously, the statement reads.

It says that Troika has executed its task with diligence and fairness, allowing all member states to participate and express themselves fully on the candidates.

The statement adds that “Thus far member states have accepted the recommendations of the Troika at each stage of the process. This has brought us to the point where at the consultation meeting of the General Council held on 28 October 2020, the Chair of the General Council on behalf of the Troika reported that Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has emerged as the only candidate proposed for endorsement by the General Council on 9 November 2020.

“The AU is deeply appreciative of the supportive comments by member states on Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s excellent qualifications for the post.

“At a time when the credibility of the WTO is sorely tested, it is important that the organization honours its own rules and procedures. The African Union reiterates its full support for Dr Okonjo-Iweala,” it concludes.

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