Race For WTO Director General Down To Five Candidates

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The number of candidates seeking to be the next director general of the World Trade Organization has dropped from nine down to five.

The results of the first round of cuts came after the WTO General Council chair met with all 159 WTO members, the WTO announced today.

The remaining candidates (not in order of popularity) are:

— Ms Mari Elka Pangestu (Indonesia)

— Mr Tim Groser (New Zealand)

— Mr Herminio Blanco (Mexico)

— Mr Taeho Bark (South Korea)

— Mr Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo (Brazil)

The next round of five-minute consultations with members about these five candidates will start next week. According to the WTO, they will run from 16-24 April. Three more candidates will be expected to withdraw after the second round.

Candidates who did not advance after the first round are:

— Mr Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen (Ghana)

— Ms Anabel González (Costa Rica)

— Ms Amina C. Mohamed (Kenya)

— Mr Ahmad Thougan Hindawi (Jordan)

The basis for selections was the preferences expressed by each WTO member in short consultations, and the candidates’ likelihood to ultimately gain consensus support.

“The results were clear and unambiguous, whether measured in terms of number of preferences received, or by breadth of support across geographic regions or across the generally recognized categories of Members – LDCs [least-developed countries], developing countries and developed countries,” the chair said, citing concerns in some quarters about the results.

The current chair of the General Council is Shahid Bashir (Pakistan). Outgoing Director General Pascal Lamy is from France.


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