On February 15th, local time, the World Trade Organization (WTO) held an extraordinary meeting of the General Council to appoint Nigerian candidate Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of the WTO.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became the first female director-general since the establishment of the WTO and the first director-general from Africa.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs, served at the World Bank for 25 years, and served as the Board of Directors of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has won the support of a majority of WTO members in the WTO director-general election last year, and only the United States opposes and supports another South Korean candidate, Yu Mingxi.
On February 5 this year, Yu Mingxi announced his withdrawal from the election, and the Biden administration also expressed “strong support” for Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Director-General.
In May 2020, then-WTO Director General Azevedo announced his early departure on 31 August 2020. WTO subsequently launched the selection process of a new Director-General last June.
Azevedo has been the Director General of the WTO since 2013, and his second term was originally due to end in August 2021.
Since Azevedo left office early, he has been served as Acting Director-General by four Deputy Directors.