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WTO: Okonjo-Iweala reacts to appointment as DG



The newly-appointed Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has reacted to her appointment as WTO Director-General.

Okonjo-Iweala in a tweet via her handle on Monday said the organisation would get the global economy running again during her tenure as the WTO DG.


She also expressed willingness to make the WTO stronger, adding that the organisation would adapt to realities of the day.

“I am totally honoured to have been selected by WTO members as WTO Director-General.


“A strong WTO is vital if we are to recover fully and rapidly from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I look forward to working with members to shape and implement the policy responses we need to get the global economy going again.


“Our organization faces a great many challenges but working together we can collectively make the WTO stronger, more agile and better adapted to the realities of today,” she said.

As the Director-General of WTO, a position that wields limited formal power, Okonjo-Iweala, 66, will need to broker international trade talks in the face of persistent U.S.-China conflict, respond to pressure to reform trade rules and counter protectionism exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Okonjo-Iweala pledged to find common ground among the trade body’s disparate membership. She hopes to score some early negotiating wins – such as a multilateral accord to curb harmful fishing subsidies – as a means to restore trust and build momentum for larger deals.

The new DG of WTO graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1976 and earned her doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981.


After moving to Washington, she quickly rose through the ranks at the World Bank and in 2013 was named managing director – the organization’s highest unelected position.


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