79 countries back Okonjo-Iweala for WTO DG role

Former Finance Minister and WTO director-general candidate, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has claimed that she has support from 79 countries, as she seeks to become the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Speaking during a virtual press conference on Friday, she said the 55-man African Union (AU) has officially endorsed her over her only opponent, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea.

Okonjo-Iweala also claims a group of Caribbean and Pacific states have also said they would back her, bringing the number of countries backing her candidacy to 79.

She remains “optimistic” about support from Latin America and said she felt she had gotten “very good traction and good support” in Asia so far.

The European Union (EU) are due to announce its preference “soon”.

“I feel the wind behind my back.

“I feel quite confident that across the regions, we will be able to attract support,” Okonjo-Iweala added.

WTO is set to be led by a woman for the first time to replace Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down as director-general in August, a year ahead of schedule.

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