WTO accepts Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination as DG, ignores Egypt’s protest

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has accepted the nomination of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the position of its director general, in spite of a protest by Egypt. 

The Egyptian government which nominated Mr. Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh for the same position, had opposed Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination on grounds of it being belated. The North African country told African Union not to recognize her nomination, as members of AU had been directed to nominate candidates for the director general position since November 30, 2019. The request to substitute Nigeria’s Yonok Frederick Agah with Okonjo-Iweala was made on June 4, 2020.

The WTO however said in a statement released on Tuesday June 9, that nominations are still open till July 8, 2020.

The Geneva-based global trade body said in a three-paragraph statement on its website; 

“Nigeria nominates Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for post of WTO Director-General.

“Nigeria, on 9 June 2020, nominated Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the post of WTO Director-General to succeed the current Director-General, Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, who has announced he will step down on 31 August 2020.

“According to the timetable announced by the Chair of the General Council, David Walker, the nomination period will close on 8 July 2020. Shortly after the nomination period has closed, candidates will be invited to meet with members at a special General Council meeting, present their views and take questions from the membership.”

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