Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was slated to be the new Director-General of the WTO after garnering 104 of the 164 votes, but the Trump administration’s WTO Representative raised an eleventh hour objection against her appointment to delay its announcement.
When and if announced, Okonji-Iweala would be the first woman, and the first African, to lead the institution.
But in a last ditch move, the United States representative at World Trade Organization took to the floor to insist that South Korea’s candidate, Yoo Myung-Hee, remained a contender.
The US representative said that Washington will not recognise Okonjo-Iweala as the consensus candidate for appointment as director-general.
In response to this, the General Council has postponed its announcement of the new Director-General until a further meeting, which is scheduled for 9 November after the US presidential elections.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a Nigerian-born economist and international development expert. She sits on the Boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), and the African Risk Capacity.