6th February, 2021
World Health Organisation director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has congratulated Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as she is set to become the first female leader of the World Trade Organisation.
Tedros tweeted his congratulations Friday night, saying:
“Congratulations to my sister @NOIweala, who will lead @wto with the distinction she has shown throughout a remarkable career. Thank you as well for your ongoing support for @WHO, including as my special envoy to @ACTAccelerator”.
The WHO chief made the remark in a reaction to Okonjo-Iweala’s tweet, in which she thanked the United States and South Korea’s cpmpetitor Yoo Myung-hee, for conceding the post.
Okonjo-Iwaeala tweeted: “Grateful for the expression of support from the US today for DG @WTO. Congratulations to Madam Yoo of Rep. Korea for a hard fought campaign.Thank You President Muhammadu Buhari @MBuhari &all Nigerians for your unflinching support.Thank you friends. Love to my family.Glory to God”.
The Trump administration had blocked Okonjo-Iweala’s ascension to the post, despite that she enjoyed the support of many blocs, from Africa to the EU and Asia to South America.
With the change of US administration on 20 January, it was expected that the Biden-Harris administration would consign Team Trump objection into the dustbin.
That was done on Friday, after Yoo withdrew her candidacy.
A statement from the Office of the US Trade Representative said: “The United States takes note of today’s decision by the Republic of Korea’s Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee to withdraw her candidacy for Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).”
The statement said the The Biden-Harris Administration was pleased to express its strong support for the candidacy of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General of the WTO.
It added that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala brings a wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy from her 25 years with the World Bank and two terms as Nigerian Finance Minister.
“She is widely respected for her effective leadership and has proven experience managing a large international organization with a diverse membership,” the statement said.