Sonny Iroche, the Convener/ National Coordinator of the Abia Professionals Group in Nigeria, has charged the incoming President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, to immediately grant the assent of the USA voting block in support of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Iroche said in a statement that Biden’s assent would pave way for Dr. Okonjo-Iweala to become the first African and first female to occupy the coveted position.
It would be recalled that Dr Okonjo-Iweala, in an election that was keenly contested with her main rival from South Korea, emerged the clear winner.
But in a last ditch move, the United States representative at the WTO took to the floor to insist that South Korea’s candidate remained a contender, and that Washington will not recognise Okonjo-Iweala as the consensus candidate for appointment as Director-General.
In response to this, the General Counsel postponed its announcement of the new Director-General until a further meeting, after the US presidential elections.
Now with the defeat of Donald Trump by Joe Biden in the US presidential elections, Biden is now expected to right the wrongs done by Trump, especially diplomatic and multilateral relations which had been damaged by the outgoing President.
Iroche stressed that considering the fact that Dr Okonjo- Iweala is eminently qualified for the WTO top office and emerged through an open and fair election, Biden should immediately give the nod for her to take up the position.
Biden’s immediate endorsement would further endear Biden to Africa, the women constituency and all who stand for meritocracy in the world order, Iroche said, stressing that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the new Director-General of the WTO would be a tremendous boost for Africa and position her for one of the toughest jobs in the international system.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala had won the support of the vast majority of member states, including the EU, Japan and China, but not that of the United States.
Iroche, therefore, urged Biden to add to his priority list of things to be done on his first day in office the granting of the USA assent to the appointment of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the new Director-General of the WTO.