The World Trade Organization (WTO) took another step towards selecting its next Director-General on Friday, as General Council Chair David Walker of New Zealand and his two co-facilitators in the selection process disclosed which of the eight candidates that will advance to the next stage of the process.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, has been included among the five candidates that will proceed to the next stage of the selection process.
According to the press release by the WTO other candidates are; Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea, Amina C. Mohamed of Kenya, Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Liam Fox of the United Kingdom.
The Geneva-based WTO said Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh of Egypt, Jesus Seade Kuri of Mexico and Tudor Ulianovschi of Moldova did not secure enough support in the first of three rounds of voting.
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Okonjo-Iweala had in July said that she would be Proactive, Supportive & Solutions-Oriented if she is selected as the WTO DG.
The second phase of consultations will begin on 24 September and run until 6 October. During this time, members will be asked in the confidential consultations to express two preferences to the facilitators with an eye to bringing the number of candidates from five to two
The General Council agreed on 31 July that there would be three stages of consultations held over a two-month period commencing 7 September.
During these two months the number of candidates would be reduced from eight to five and then two before a consensus is reached on which of the candidates becomes the WTO’s 7th Director-General.
In trimming the roster of candidates from eight to five, WTO members have concluded the first of these consultative stages.
The consultation process taken by facilitators has been set by guidelines established by the General Council in a 2002 decision.
According to these guidelines, the key consideration in determining which candidate is best poised to achieve consensus is the “breadth of support” each candidate receives from the members.
The process for selecting a new Director-General was triggered on 14 May when former Director-General Roberto Azevêdo informed WTO members he would be stepping down from his post one year before the expiry of his mandate. He subsequently left office on 31 August.