WTO Cancels Meeting For New Leadership 

by mcardinal

Samuel Case, FISM News


The World Trade Organization has canceled a meeting on Nov. 9 to decide on the appointment of Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the body’s next director-general after the United States rejected her as a candidate.

Trade sources said they thought a factor in the delay was that there had been no indication the Trump administration – which will continue to govern trade policy in the weeks ahead irrespective of any U.S. election result – had switched its support to Okonjo-Iweala.

The impasse over the leadership, Geneva, home to the WTO, implemented COVID restrictions this week, including a five-person cap on in-person meetings. However, the organization has held many meetings virtually.

The WTO later confirmed the decision on its website, saying consultations would continue. The body usually chooses its new leader by consensus, with trade sources saying they would be reluctant to resort to a vote.

Last month, a high-powered WTO panel recommended that Okonjo-Iweala, a former finance minister, lead the global trade watchdog, setting her up to become its first African and first woman head.

However, the U.S.-backed South Korean candidate Yoo Myung-hee has not withdrawn from the race, despite mounting diplomatic pressure.


Sourced from Reuters American Wire, edited for brevity