WTO confirms Okonjo-Iweala as finalist in DG race

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has officially announced that Nigeria’s candidate, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and South Korea’s candidate, Yoo Myung-hee, have made it to the final of the race for the organization’s Director-General.

The former Nigerian minister for finance and the Korean minister emerged from a shortlist of five which was selected from a pool of eight candidates.

WTO spokesman, Keith Rockwell, disclosed this to reporters at the WTO headquarters in Geneva after the results were announced to member states at a meeting.

The spokesman said, “Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria and Korean minister Yoo Myung-hee will advance to the third and final stage of consultations. 

"The third stage will run from October 19 to October 27 with a winner to be announced before November 7. 

"Both of the women that are in the final round are remarkably well-qualified. This is something on which everyone has agreed.”

The two female finalists advanced ahead of Britain’s Liam Fox, Kenya’s Amina Mohamed, and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad al-Tuwaijri who failed to get enough backing from the WTO’s 164 members in the second round of the battle to become the next director-general of the WTO.

Since the WTO’s establishment in 1995, this would be the first time that it would appoint a female leader. 

The two candidates are remarkably well-qualified and possess lots of experience to lead the organization. The race is going down to the wire.

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