Nigerian Presidency is Not My Business, WTO is My Priority – Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director General of the World Trade Organization and a Nigerian by birth, has stated that she would not run for president in 2023, calling the rumor “utterly absurd and untrue.”

Okonjo-Iweala said in reply to the speculation that she is allegedly considering the idea of leaving her WTO post only seven months into her 4 1/2-year tenure.

“I just got here,” she explained. I’m having fun with what I’m doing. It’s a thrilling work, and I’m hoping to achieve some success here.”

The WTO chief began the year with “a strategy to score early negotiation triumphs that she claimed would help revive the dysfunctional Geneva-based trade organization,” according to Bloomberg News, but she has fully understood the frustrating reality of the WTO’s historical slowness.

Five trade officials in Geneva who declined to be identified were mentioned by the New York-based publication.

Okonjo-Iweala has frequently informed ambassadors and employees this year that she might easily leave the position, and that she hasn’t purchased any furnishings for her temporary house in Geneva, according to authorities.

Okonjo-Iweala Speaks on Appointment as WTO Director General

An early retirement of the WTO’s chief trade official would add yet another layer of turmoil to an institution already beset by existential crises, leading nations to decide that the WTO is no longer a viable platform for resolving their common issues, according to the medium.

The WTO, which requires majority agreement among all 164 members to finalize multilateral agreements, is no stranger to deep divides and a lack of confidence.

For the greater part of a decade, the WTO’s restrictive negotiating structure and the various interests of its broad membership have prevented the organization from producing anything meaningful.

Last year, Okonjo-predecessor, Iweala’s Roberto Azevedo, resigned from the WTO a year before his term was set to finish, citing a lack of progress as the major reason for his departure.

According to Bloomberg News, some Geneva trade officials believe Okonjo-Iweala intends to run for president of Nigeria in the 2023 election.

In a statement to Bloomberg News, Okonjo-Iweala declined to comment on her threats to quit, but she rejected any interest in running for Nigerian president, calling such speculation “utterly absurd and untrue.”

“I just arrived. In a televised interview with Bloomberg News, she said, “I’m enjoying what I’m doing.” “It’s a thrilling work, and I’m hoping to achieve some success here.”

The true test of Okonjo-Iweala’s leadership will come in November, when she hosts the WTO’s 12th ministerial conference — a gathering of the organisation’s highest decision-making body, Bloomberg states; noting that, to date, WTO members have failed to make significant headway on the three priority areas Okonjo-Iweala identified for potential outcomes at the biennial meeting

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