BREAKING: SOUTH KOREAN MYUNG-HEE DROPS WTO BID, PAVES WAY FOR OKONJO-IWEALA
Yoo Myung-hee, South Korean Trade Minister has withdrawn her bid to head the World Trade Organization (WTO), leaving Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,
former Nigerian Finance Minister as the sole candidate, first Woman and African for the position.
According to a statement by Korea's trade ministry on Friday, February 5, Yoo made the decision after meetings with the United States and other major nations.
The statement said the trade Minister took various issues into consideration, including the need to revitalize the multilateral organization.
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The withdrawal comes after several former U.S. government officials urged President Joe Biden to endorse Okonjo-Iweala after the Trump administration blocked her selection.
Recall that Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian economist also a U.S citizen emerged as the front-runner for the WTO director-general position last year but was opposed by the U.S.
The last minute objection by the U.S. delayed the announcement of Okonjo-Iweala as the consensus candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation.
Okonjo-Iweala had received a key endorsement from the WTO selection committee, which moved her a step closer to becoming the WTO’s first female director-general.
The ECOWAS also endorsed her bringing the number of countries that have endorsed her to 104 out of the 164 members, which gave her a clear lead.
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However, all WTO decisions were taken by a consensus of its 164 members, which means the U.S’ move acted as a veto that disrupted the process.