Ms Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria has been appointed as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation. She is taking over as WTO -DG in the most trying times for the global trade, marked by trade war, distrust and the questions being raised over the role of the multilateral trade body itself.
Ms Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala enjoys reputation of being a soft lady with firm determination. Dealing with the unfolding trade regime which appears to be unfair towards the poor and developing countries in the availability of the vaccine against the Covid 19 pandemic , would be her top priority. In an interview with the BBC, the first woman DG of the WTO said the ”vaccine nationalism” would not work because the nature of pandemic is such that until everyone in the world is safe, nobody is completely safe against the pandemic.
She said the WTO provides enough rules for allowing the governments to allow manufacture and trade of the vaccine without the issue of the intellectual property rights coming in the way.
“A strong WTO is vital if we are to recover fully and rapidly from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to working with members to shape and implement the policy responses we need to get the global economy going again. Our organization faces a great many challenges but working together we can collectively make the WTO stronger, more agile and better adapted to the realities of today,” she said in a statement.
When she takes office on March1. Okonjo-Iweala would become the first woman and the first African to be chosen as Director-General, the rule making body of the global trade said.