Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is yet to be appointed WTO director

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Information circulating on Social media claiming that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian has been appointed as the new Director General of World Trade Organization (WTO) is false.

The Star’s fact check desk can authoritatively say that though Ngozi is among the two candidates who have proceeded for the last round in the WTO race, her appointment is yet to be made.

The 7th Director-General of WTO will be officially made on October 29 after consultations by the General Council. 

Shadrack Musembi had on his twitter https://archive.is/fJpDM  posted as breaking news claiming that Ngozi has been appointed as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

He said shattering a glass ceiling, Ngozi is the first female African leader of this organization.

The same message was widely shared on other social media platforms including WhatsApp.

The news about her appointment came after WTO members announced that only together with Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea would proceed to the final round.

“Based on the depth and breadth of preferences articulated to the facilitators, Amb. Walker told a Heads of Delegation meeting on 8 October that the two candidates who secured the broadest and deepest support from the membership and who should subsequently advance to the final round are Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria and Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea,” read a statement from WTO.

The two candidates were chosen from a field of five that had advanced to the second round of consultations including Kenya’s Sports CS Amina Mohamed.

As the members move to the final round of consultations, the ultimate objective is to secure a consensus decision by members on the next Director-General.

“Our aim continues to be to encourage and facilitate the building of consensus among members and to assist in moving from this final slate of two candidates to a decision on the appointment. As this is the final round of the consultation process, it should bring us to the point where we can make a recommendation to the General Council concerning that decision,” Amb. Walker said.

The General Council is the highest decision-making body of the WTO apart from the Ministerial.

The New Zealand ambassador said the third phase of consultations will commence on 19 October and run until 27 October to afford members sufficient time to prepare their positions. 

Another factor in waiting a week for stage three to begin is the busy calendar of meetings next week, including a scheduled two-day session of the General Council, which Amb. Walker will chair.

During this period, WTO members will be asked in confidential consultations to express to the facilitators a single preference and based on these preferences, the troika will deliver their assessment on which of the two candidates is most likely to command a consensus of the membership and become the seventh Director-General of the World Trade Organization. 

Amb. Walker will then call a formal General Council and present the troika’s recommendation to the membership for a formal decision.

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