The General Council World Trade Organization (WTO) on Monday, February 15, 2021, by consensus settled on Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria as the organization’s seventh Director-General.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who takes office on March 1, 2021, will become the first woman and the first African to be chosen as Director-General.
General Council Chair, David Walker of New Zealand congratulated Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment.
“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”.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala on her part assured that a key priority for her would be to work with members to quickly address the economic and health consequences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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.”