By Oluwatosin Omojuyigbe with agency report
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Monday resumed as the first female and first African Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
Okonjo-Iweala was on February 15, 2021, confirmed as the WTO DG after a long campaign that was derailed in the latter stages by the then United State President Donald Trump administration veto.
The former finance and foreign minister’s resumption coincided with a closed meeting of its top decision-making body, the General Council.
Okonjo-Iweala, who met with the 164 delegates of the member states virtually, noted that there were lots of work to be done which she was ready for.
She said, “It feels great. I am coming into one of the most important institutions in the world and we have a lot of work to do. I feel ready to go. Things are not easy when members are negotiating and there are still a lot of critical issues that need to be sorted out. But we are hopeful.”
Meanwhile, the WTO agreed to hold its next ministerial conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 29.
The meeting was originally due to be held in Kazakhstan in 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic.
Okonjo-Iweala said she hoped it would be the venue for clinching deals on ending fisheries subsidies and reforms for the WTO’s top appeals body which was paralysed by the Trump administration.