Fabrice Coffrini Agence France-Presse
As of 8 September, the pretenders to the leadership of the WTO will be eliminated as a mechanism of consensus, which can last nearly two months.
Three of the eight candidates to head the world trade Organization (WTO) presented Wednesday in front of the 164 member countries of their program to get out of the institution of the crisis and settle the dispute with the United States.
The Mexican Jesus Seade Kuri, former deputy director general of the WTO, was the first to advocate his strategy to revive the institution, struggling with huge challenges in full global economic crisis caused by the pandemic COVID-19.
“There is a serious crisis… A lack of confidence in the absolute between the delegations “, he pointed.
“If I could decide, I would say : “please, dear members decide by this weekend !” Because we need all the time necessary to work towards the next ministerial meeting ” which should take place in 2021, said Mr. Seade, calling on countries not to take account of the us elections.
Washington has threatened to quit the WTO, which it calls for the redesign, and paralyzed since December the court of appeal of the dispute settlement body (DSB) of the WTO.
The United States believes that it is treated “unfairly” by the policeman of the global trade, is calling for its reform in depth, as well as the withdrawal of China from the list of developing countries.
The egyptian candidate, Hamid Mamdouh, has called on Washington to come solve “the trade tensions” with Beijing at the WTO. “The WTO should be part of the solution and not the problem “, he said.
The Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also urged the United States not to leave the WTO, stressing that ” it is thanks to the multilateral rules in trade that we have had prosperity and could lift millions of people out of poverty “. Saying they are “proud” that the african continent has presented three suitors, she expressed confidence that Africa would support his candidacy.
The continent, which has never had a representative at the head of the WTO, hopes to have its chances, but there are no rules on the nationality of the head of the organization.
The other contenders, among whom the former minister kenyan Sports Amina Mohamed and the former uk minister for international Trade, Liam Fox, will be heard in the course of the next two days. All will then have a few weeks — until September 7 — to woo the capitals, before that the States do not reach consensus to appoint the successor of the Brazilian Roberto Azevedo.
The latter announced to the general surprise, in mid-may that he would leave his functions at the end of August, a year before the end of his term, for ” family reasons “.
After his departure, one of the deputy directors of the WTO will lead the organization until the successor of the Brazilian to be appointed.
As of 8 September, the candidates will be eliminated as a mechanism of consensus, which may take about two months.
Three other candidates are running : the Trade minister of South Korea, Yoo Myung-hee, the former saudi minister of Economy Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, and the former head of the diplomacy of moldova Tudor Ulianovschi.