The World Trade Organization (WTO) has announced that it postponed the planned November 9th meeting to discuss the appointment of Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General.
This was disclosed in a statement released on Friday evening. A WTO document seen by Reuters said: “For reasons including the health situation and current events, delegations will not be in a position to take a formal decision on 9 November.”
Reuters also reported that WTO insiders said the delay was because there was “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.”
What you should know
Nairametrics reported in October that Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonji-Iweala, was close to being appointed as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
A group of ambassadors also known as “troika” proposed Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to lead the WTO, giving her a clear path to becoming the first woman to head the WTO since it started 25 years ago.
Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala secured the support of the majority of the member-nations – but was yet to be declared and returned as the winner, as the United States opposed the consensus.
“It has come to my attention that for reasons including the health situation and current events, delegations will not be in a position to take a formal decision on 9 November,” WTO General Council Chairman, David Walker, announced on Friday.
“I am therefore postponing this meeting until further notice during which period I will continue to undertake consultations with delegations,” he added.
The WTO said they would continue consultations despite the postponement of the meeting. The headquarters of the WTO, Geneva, is also under new lockdown restrictions as coronavirus cases rise in Europe.