79 OACPS Nations Endorse Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala For WTO Job

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

SAN FRANCISCO, October 17, (THEWILL) – All 79-member nations of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) have endorsed Okonjo-Iweala as candidate for the WTO job.

OACPS Secretary-General, Georges Chikoti made this known on Sunday, October 11, 2020 after she was published as a finalist for the position of WTO director-general. “If elected, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala will create history as the first female and first national of the OACPS to lead the WTO”, he said.

Chikoti described her as “a global finance expert, economist and international development expert with over 30 years of experience working in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin and North America.”

The OACPS statement read, “On behalf of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), it is my honour to endorse the candidacy of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“A global finance expert, economist and international development expert with over 30 years of experience working in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin and North America, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala brings to the post a wealth of experience and a well-earned reputation as a reformer. A citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the OACPS, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is Nigeria’s longest-serving Minister of Finance and a former Managing Director of the World Bank. A skilled negotiator, she has brokered numerous agreements which have produced win-win outcomes and is regarded as an effective consensus builder and an honest broker who enjoys the trust of governments and stakeholders.

“More pertinently, as the world seeks to put COVID-19 behind it, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and was recently appointed as the African Union (AU) Special Envoy to mobilise international financial support for the fight against COVID-19 and WHO Special Envoy for Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.

“Dr Okonjo-Iweala is a member of the Board of Directors of a number of national, regional and international organisations and has received numerous accolades from international organizations and institutions for her noteworthy contributions to development in various disciplines. If elected, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala will create history as the first female and first national of the OACPS to lead the WTO in its 25-year history.

“The OACPS congratulates Dr. Okonjo-Iweala on her progress thus far and reaffirms its unreserved support for her candidacy for this position.”

Reacting to the endorsement on Friday, the former Finance Minister said “I feel the wind behind my back. I feel quite confident that across the regions, we will be able to attract support.”

She also disclosed that the European Union was due to announce its preference of the last two candidates soon.

But at a time when the WTO is engulfed by multiple crises, she stressed that the new chief must above all be highly skilled in political and diplomatic negotiations, as well as at the managerial level.

“The WTO at this time with the challenges it confronts needs a very competent Director General who is able to have the political reach and stature to be able to do reforms and deal at very high levels. It is not only having those skills but having them all meet in one person at this juncture when the WTO needs that,” she said.