Former Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has emerged as the only candidate standing for the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), after a resounding victory over her only challenger South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.
Ambassadors from the EU’s 27 member states confirmed on Monday that the bloc vote has thrown its weight behind Ms Okonjo-Iweala, following discussions among EU leaders during their summit in Brussels last week.
Her emergence is expected to be announced formally by the WTO next week Tuesday 3 November 2020.
Okonjo-Iweala defeated her only challenger, South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee, by a wide margin. She polled 104 votes from 164 member countries to defeat her South Korea’s trade minister opponent, at the final stage of the race.
Ambassadors from the EU’s 27 member states confirmed on Monday that the bloc would throw its weight behind Ms Okonjo-Iweala, following discussions among EU leaders during their summit in Brussels last week.
An EU diplomat said that, during the internal deliberations, Ms Okonjo-Iweala had been backed by France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, among others. Ms Yoo found considerable support among EU governments in central and eastern Europe, including the Baltic states.
A person briefed on the discussions among ambassadors on Monday said Latvia and Hungary — the last two holdout countries favouring Ms Yoo — agreed to switch and join the majority position at a special meeting convened at 6pm.