The European Union has thrown its support behind the Nigerian candidate for the World Trade Organization Director-General, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, and her Korean counterpart, Yoo Myung-hee.
An unnamed official source disclosed the decision of the Union to Bloomberg on Monday.
Asides Mrs Okonjo-Iweala and Ms Myung-hee, the race of the next WTO DG has one more female candidate, Amina Mohamed, who did not get the support of the EU.
Weeks ago, 8 candidates (5 men and 3 women) that started the race were shortlisted to five through a selection procedure.
The remaining five candidates that will advance to the next round of elimination are Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria, Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea, Amina Mohamed of Kenya, Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Liam Fox of the United Kingdom.
The 25-year-old organisation plans to announce two finalists after October 6 and announce the winner by November 7.
Mrs Okonjo-Iweala had earlier gained the support of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
She had in her presentation to the council promised( if elected ) to work with members to prioritise delivering the 12th Ministerial Conference MC12 successfully with good outcomes on fisheries, agriculture, and other areas.
“I would also prioritize updating the rulebook, unlocking the dispute settlement system, working on transparency and notification, enhancing the work of regular bodies, and strengthen the Secretariat.
“For me, it would be an honor and privilege to serve,” she said.
Among her plan when elected is actively supporting cross-cutting projects and transparency to support new initiatives.
She also said will simultaneously help breathe life into longstanding work programs.
“I will come to work every day enthused and energized and I will seek a secretariat that does so as well”.
If elected, she said, “I commit myself wholeheartedly to work collaboratively and inclusively – as I have always done – to make this organization work better for all its Members.”
If elected, he promises to establish a WTO “Delivery Unit” that would immediately assess performance against the existing objectives based on data and economic evidence, and which would help ensure that all Members understand how the WTO is operating, where it is not delivering as intended, and which functions need your attention.
He also said he will deliver the WTO to its goal, and to maintain its path, True North.
He said he will deliver the political momentum to take the organization forward.
“It is only with vision, and shared purpose, that we can find the compromises required to meet the challenges I’ve set out, reversing the rise in trade-restrictive measures, recommitting ourselves to the founding principles to which we have all agreed while updating and strengthening this institution so it’s fit to tackle the challenges of the 21st Century”.