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‘I’m Honoured’ – Okonjo-Iweala Speaks On Emerging As WTO DG

Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has reacted to her emergence as the first female Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Naija News reports that Okonjo-Iweala makes history as the first woman and the first African to lead the WTO after months of uncertainty at the trade body.

Okonjo-Iweala term starts on the 1st of March 2021.

In a statement on Monday, the former finance minister said she is honoured to have been selected as the one to lead the WTO.

She said: “I am honoured to have been selected by WTO members as WTO Director-General.

“A strong WTO is vital if we are to recover fully and rapidly from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to working with members to shape and implement the policy responses we need to get the global economy going again.

“Our organization faces a great many challenges but working together we can collectively make the WTO stronger, more agile and better adapted to the realities of today.”

The General Council chairman of WTO, David Walker, thanked the former minister for her graciousness and patience through the selection process.

Walker, who is from New Zealand worked together with co-facilitators Dacio Castillo (Honduras) and Harald Aspelund (Iceland) through the nine-month DG selection process.

He said: “This is a very significant moment for the WTO. On behalf of the General Council, I extend our warmest congratulations to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as the WTO’s next Director-General and formally welcome her to this General Council meeting.

“Dr Ngozi, on behalf of all members I wish to sincerely thank you for your graciousness in these exceptional months, and for your patience.

“We look forward to collaborating closely with you, Dr Ngozi, and I am certain that all members will work with you constructively during your tenure as Director-General to shape the future of this organization.”

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