Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the WTO DG designate, former Minister of Finance has shown her appreciation to the United States of America for supporting her to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The US, in a statement on Friday, February 5, had expressed its strong support for the candidacy of Okonjo-Iweala as WTO DG, a few hours after South Korean candidate; Yoo Myung-hee announced her withdrawal from the race.
The statement by the US office of trade representative read, “The United States takes note of today’s decision by the Republic of Korea’s Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee to withdraw her candidacy for Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Biden-Harris Administration is pleased to express its strong support for the candidacy of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General of the WTO. Dr Okonjo-Iweala brings a wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy from her 25 years with the World Bank and two terms as Nigerian Finance Minister. She is widely respected for her effective leadership and has proven experience managing a large international organization with a diverse membership.”
The statement added, “The Biden-Harris Administration also congratulates Minister Yoo Myung-hee on her strong campaign for this position. She is a trailblazer as the Republic of Korea’s first female trade minister and the first candidate from Korea to advance this far in the Director-General selection process. The United States respects her decision to withdraw her candidacy from the Director-General race to help facilitate a consensus decision at the WTO.”
This immediately eliminates the final hurdle in the Nigerian candidate’s path. With this endorsement, Okonjo-Iweala is set to make history by becoming the first woman and African to lead the World Trade Organization since its inception 26 years ago.
Okonjo-Iweala thanked the United States for its endorsement of her candidacy. She also expressed her gratitude to the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, and all the former finance minister tweeted, “Grateful for the expression of support from the US today for DG @WTO. Congratulations to Madam Yoo of Rep. Korea for a hard-fought campaign.
The former finance minister tweeted “Grateful for the expression of support from the US today for DG @WTO. Congratulations to Madam Yoo of Rep. Korea for a hard-fought campaign. Thank You President Muhammadu Buhari @Buhari & all Nigerians for your unflinching support. Thank you, friends. Love to my family. Glory to God.”