– The South Korean minister of trade, Yoo Myung-hee, has withdrawn from the race to become DG of WTO
– Until her withdrawal on Friday, February 5, Yoo is the main challenger of Nigeria’s former minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
– Okonjo-Iweala would soon be declared the DG of WTO unopposed
Nigeria’s former minister of finance and coordinating minister of economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is now the only candidate for the position of director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), following the withdrawal of her major contender and South Korean trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee.
Bloomberg reports that Yoo made the decision on Friday, February 5, after discussions with the U.S. and other major nations, and took various issues into account “comprehensively” including the need to revitalize the multilateral organization.
Legit.ng gathered that Yoo’s withdrawal came after dozens of former U.S. government officials urged President Joe Biden to endorse Okonjo-Iweala after the Trump administration blocked her selection.
It was reported that the opposition halted the selection process because WTO decisions are made on the basis of a consensus of its members.
Okonjo-Iweala, who is also a U.S. citizen, emerged as the front-runner for the WTO director-general post last year and that the U.S. has been the only country to oppose her.
The former minister had secured the popular vote by a wide margin on October 28 but was not named DG because the US opposed her candidacy.
The two women are the last candidates standing and the eventual winner would set a record as being the first female WTO DG.
The WTO had said Okonjo-Iweala had the best chance of getting a consensus after the October 28, 2020, meeting.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Okonjo-Iweala, who is also eyeing the position of the director-general of the WTO, was named Forbes’ Africa person of 2020.
It was reported that the honour given to Okonjo-Iweala was revealed in a tweet by the international magazine on Tuesday, December 1.
The former Nigerian minister noted that she was thrilled to follow in the footsteps of her African brothers like Paul Kagame, the president of the Republic of Rwanda and Akinwunmi Adesina, the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
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