Share

Former Nigeria Finance Minister, Okonjo-Iweala is one step shy of becoming not only the first woman but also the first African to head the World Trade Organization following the overwhelming support by all 164 member countries on Wednesday

But she would first have to convince Washington that she is best suited to manage the affairs of the organization that has been recently castigated by President Donald Trump

Her dream to occupy the top position has been deferred after last-minute objections to the process by the US who are said to be backing her South Korean counterpart, Yoo Myung-hee.

Paakwesiasare.biz has learned that Madam Okonjo-Iweala was backed by countries in the Caribbean, Africa, the European Union, China, Japan, and Australia.

By custom, the WTO has over the years selected its Director-General by consensus with approval from all 164 members. Washington has expressed disquiet with the operations of the WTO over the past few months, objecting to China’s designation as a developing country and blocking the appointment of new judges to the organization’s appeals body.

Sources said it was unclear whether Washington’s opposition to Okonjo-Iweala was a deliberate attempt to sabotage an organization that has received constant backlash from Donald Trump.

The Guardian newspaper reports a spokesperson of the WTO as saying Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy would be put to a meeting of the body’s governing general council on 9 November, adding that there was likely to be “frenzied activity” in the meantime to secure consensus.

The constitution of the WTO provides for a vote, despite the fact that successive Director General’s in the organization’s 25-year history has been appointed by consensus. Experts are predicting tough times ahead if the Organization goes ahead without the approval of Washington

Sources in Geneva said in the event of a Democratic Party win in next week’s presidential elections, the US position may be affected.