Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria), Yoo Myung-hee (Republic of Korea), Amina C Mohamed (Kenya), Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri (Saudi Arabia), and Liam Fox (UK) are through to the next stage in the WTO Director-General selection process.
The second phase of confidential consultations will take place from 24 September to 6 October with a view to reduce the field of candidates from five to two.
Following consultations, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced that five out of eight candidates for the post of WTO Director-General will advance to the next stage of the selection process. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria), Yoo Myung-hee (Republic of Korea), Amina C. Mohamed (Kenya), Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri (Saudi Arabia), and Liam Fox (UK) received “the broadest and deepest support from the WTO membership.”
Jesús Seade Kuri (Mexico), Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh (Egypt), and Tudor Ulianovschi (Moldova) will not advance to the next phase.
According to the guidelines for the third and final stage of the selection process agreed by the General Council on 31 July, WTO General Council Chair David Walker (New Zealand), with Chair of the Dispute Settlement Body Dacio Castillo (Honduras) and Chair of the Trade Policy Review Body Harald Aspelund (Iceland), conducted confidential consultations with WTO members from 7-16 September 2020 to identify their preferences. On 16 September, the pool of candidates was reduced from eight to five. The results and the next steps in the selection process were announced at a Heads of Delegation meeting on 18 September.
The second phase of confidential consultations will take place from 24 September to 6 October. WTO members will be requested to submit their preferences to “the troika” (Walker, Castillo, and Aspelund), following which the field of candidates will be reduced from five to two. At that time, the timetable for the third and final round of consultations will be announced.
According to the WTO, the “ultimate objective of this measured and clearly defined process is to secure a consensus decision by members on the next Director-General.”
The selection process for the new Director-General started on 14 May when former WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo announced that he would step down from his post on 31 August, cutting his term short by one year. General Council Chair Walker immediately initiated the process by engaging with WTO members in accordance with the 2002 procedures for the Director-General selection process.
Eight WTO members put forward candidates for the post during the nomination period, which ended on 8 July. The second phase of the selection process, during which the candidates “make themselves known to members,” concluded on 7 September, and the final phase began. [WTO Press Release] [WTO Director-General Selection Process]