Months after the Trump administration blocked her selection, dozens of former US government officials have urged President Joe Biden to endorse Okonjo-Iweala for the position of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
This is coming after South Korean Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, withdrew her bid to lead the World Trade Organisation, leaving the former Nigerian Minister of Finance as the only remaining candidate for the job, Bloomberg reports Friday.
Yoo was said made the decision after discussions with the United States and other major nations, and took various issues into account “comprehensively” including the need to revitalize the multilateral organization, according to a statement from Korea’s trade ministry on Friday.
South Korea will actively contribute to reaching consensus for the next WTO chief and co-operate with her and participate in the WTO reform process.
The opposition halted the selection process because WTO decisions are made on the basis of a consensus of its members.
The 66-year-old former minister said she remained positive of becoming the first African and first female director-general in the 25-year history of the WTO despite ‘hiccups’.
Okonjo-Iweala serves on Twitter’s board of directors, as chair of the GAVI vaccine alliance as well as a special envoy for the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 fight.
The Geneva-based body, tasked with preserving free and non-discriminatory trade, has been without a director-general for months after Roberto Azevedo’s early departure last year.
The selection of a new leader requires all WTO members to agree. This dismayed European diplomats who have been trying desperately to repair the struggling organisation.