Nigeria’s former finance minister and a former managing director of the World Bank, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has emerged as the first female Director-General of the World Trade Organization(WTO), shattering the glass ceiling.
Okonjo-Iweala broke the glass ceiling, emerging as the first African and the first female to attain the position of DG of WTO by emerging as the finalist after eliminating South Korea’s current trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee in a fierce battle for the coveted job on Monday night.
The New Diplomat Europe’s outpost office gathered that with the EU nations and the United States moving in opposite direction, a move that triggered a deadlock between the two powerful geo-political allies for the first time in many years, it was the decisive and quiet support of China that finally tipped the scales in Okonjo-Iweala’s favour.
The WTO’s Ambassador Walker’s led General Council, the overall organ responsible for picking the organization’s next DG, would officially announce the choice of Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Dr Okonjo-Iweala today, October 27.
Diplomatic sources confided in The New Diplomat that an official announcement to this effect would be formally made today by New Zealand’s Ambassador Walker’s led WTO General Council.
The race for the coveted job of DG of WTO has been fierce with Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s serving Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, running neck-and-neck in the intense jostle and game of global diplomatic intrigues.
Indications had emerged that influential global trading countries including the United States(US), the European Union(EU) nations, China, Japan and the BRICS countries were strongly divided on who should be the candidate to lead the WTO.
High-level sources confided in The New Diplomat’s Europe’s outpost operations that it “took serious negotiations and prolonged talks to get China to go along with Nigeria with its decision to support Okonjo-Iweala.” China controls about 12.4% of the global trade.