WTO expedites selection of DG Azevedo's successor
The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday announced its decision to shorten the "campaigning" phase in the process of selecting a successor to departing Director-General Roberto Azevedo, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
General Council Chair David Walker of New Zealand said on May 20 that a one-month timeframe had been agreed during which WTO members could nominate candidates. That deadline expired on July 8.
The Geneva-based body said that under normal circumstances, the second phase of the process, in which the candidates "make themselves known to members," would take three months.
However, following discussions with members, the WTO agreed that the "campaigning" phase will be shortened by one month and will expire on Sept. 7.
On that date, the third and final phase of the process will begin, the WTO said in its statement. Walker along with the Chair of the Dispute Settlement Body, Dacio Castillo, and the Chair of the Trade Policy Review Body, Harald Aspelund, will then consult with all members to assess their preferences and determine which candidate is best placed to attract consensus support.
Walker said the third phase would last no more than two months.
The General Council chair said he will discuss with members the specific procedures for the final phase in the coming weeks.
On May 14, Azevedo, the incumbent WTO chief, said he will step down on Aug. 31, one year earlier than expected, leaving the key trade role open.
Under guidelines agreed by the General Council in 2002, the General Council chair is required to begin consultations with members on the selection of a new director general as soon as possible and "may establish expedited deadlines as necessary in consultation with members."
Eight candidates -- among them former WTO Deputy Director-General Jesus Seade Kuri of Mexico; former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; former Kenyan Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Amina Mohamed; veteran trade expert Abdel Hamid Mamdouh of Egypt; and South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee -- have already been nominated by their countries to run for the position.