Okonjo-Iweala states why she is most qualified to be elected DG of WTO

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    Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

    NGOZI Okonjo-Iweala, one of the eight candidates vying for the position, has stated why she is most qualified to be elected the next Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

    Nigerian born Okonjo-Iweala is vying for the position alongside candidates from Mexico, Egypt, Moldova, Republic of Korea, Kenya, UK and Saudi Arabia.

    She told journalists after her presentation in Geneva on Wednesday that there is need for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to elect a credible candidate based on merit for the position of Director-General.

    Okonjo-Iweala said: “Choosing a Director-General for WTO should be on merit. The best person should be chosen to lead an institution that’s having challenges.

    “If it happens to be a woman, great. If it happens to be an African its also great. It should be based on merit,” she said while extolling the qualities which makes her well suited for the job.

    “The WTO needs leadership and I’m someone with a strong managerial capability with the ability to forge consensus and reforms.

    “These bundles of qualities in addition to my leadership quality is what I’m bringing to the WTO.”

    The former two time minister of finance, Okonjo-Iweala spoke on issues ranging from trade implication of COVID-19, challenges to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMSE), e-commerce, as well as fostering relations among member countries to rebuild trust in restoring consensus decision making-in other to strengthen WTO.

    According to her, e-commerce and the digital economy are vital forms of trade, especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

    However, she said, there was a need to address the challenge of the digital divide in developing and least-developed nations – where infrastructure remained a major impediment to such form of trade.

    Similarly, she emphasized the need to strengthen MSMSE – a vital part of the global economy which was adversely affected by the pandemic.

    She noted that if elected as director-general, she would ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are accessible to poorer countries.

    “When vaccines become available, there will be allocation criteria that will ensure that it’s accessible to all,” she said while noting that she will bring her experience as Chair of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance board to bear.

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