Civil society groups, others urged President Biden to endorse Okonjo Iweala candidacy as director-general of the WTO


President Joe Biden has been asked to support the candidacy of a former Nigerian Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for the office of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

The call was made by a  group of former senior US government officials and leaders in the academia, civil society and private sector , including Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, and a former ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte,

In an open letter addressed to Biden, the group said Okonjo-Iweala’s victory would send a strong message of inclusion to the rest of the world.

“We write to respectfully encourage you to support the candidacy of the eminently qualified Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as she seeks to become the next Director-General of the WTO. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is a dynamic woman of vision who can guide the WTO through its era of reform.

“She possesses a very rare combination of leadership and experience that is deeply grounded in international trade, finance, economics, and diplomacy. Her selection, as the first American and woman of color to serve as the WTO’s director-general, will send a clear message of inclusion to the rest of the world,” TheCable quoted the US leaders as saying in the letter.

The letter added, “We know Dr. Okonjo-Iweala and have found her to be a woman of integrity, an honest broker, and a pragmatist who consistently delivers results. We believe strongly that she can be a transformative director-general, one who — with your support — will be embraced and effective within and beyond the WTO.

“In sum, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a uniquely qualified leader poised to help the WTO evolve and succeed for future generations. She is a leader who can also be relied on to pay due attention to the concerns many Americans have about global trade. She has what it takes to lead WTO reforms and take the organization into the future. We deeply appreciate any consideration you may provide to her candidacy which is critically important for our nation and the world.

Iweala received the support of 110 out of 164 countries and was recently granted American citizenship.

But the WTO postponed the selection process indefinitely, but with Biden been sworn-in as president the decision to have her as director-general may be endorsed.


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