The 63 year old, who is from Brazil, has been the director general of the WTO since September 2013 and was re elected in September 2017. As the first director general from Latin America and BRICs countries, azewido enjoys the reputation of consensus builder during his term of office.
Subsequently, the WTO said that the selection of the new director general was scheduled to begin on 8 June local time, and member states could nominate candidates for the new director general within one month before 8 July.
According to the incomplete statistics of times weekly, as of the press release on the 22nd, in addition to the four candidates officially proposed by Nigeria, Egypt, Mexico and Moldova, there were seven other potential candidates.
New leader battle
On June 8, the day of the selection of the new director general of the WTO, Mexico announced the nomination of its official, Jesus seade Kuri. On June 9, Hamid Mamdouh, a Swiss Egyptian dual national lawyer based in Geneva, was formally nominated by Egypt; on the same day, ngoz okonjo iweala, chairman of the board of directors of the global vaccine alliance nominated by Nigeria, was also named. On June 16, Moldova, the official candidate for South Eastern Europe, nominated ulyanovsky.
In addition to the four official candidates, a number of trade-related officials from Europe and Africa are also considered potential candidates.
In the EU, four officials are considered potential candidates.
Spanish Foreign Minister arancha Gonzalez Laya; EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan from Ireland; former EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson from the UK; and Sigrid kaag, the Dutch Minister for trade and development cooperation, who has expressed interest in running for office.
In Africa, Kenyas sports and culture minister, Amina Mohamed, and Benins ambassador to the United Nations, Eloi laorou, are seen as potential candidates.
In Asia, Japanese media said marielka Pangestu, Indonesias former trade minister and now managing director of the world bank, was also seen as a potential candidate.
Given that the EU and the US are the main competitors shaping global trade leadership, there is an analysis that the two sides are expected to compete fiercely for candidates. Disagreements over the candidates may further aggravate the rift between the members.
Previously, Sabine Weyand, director general of the trade division of the European Commission, said publicly on the issue of candidates, an unwritten rule, the director general always alternates between developing and developed countries. Therefore, there is a view that the new director general should be European in principle.
According to the analysis, in view of the large number of candidates, one of the selection focuses is whether European and African countries can unite behind the same candidate.
Since February this year, the African government Union (AU) has been trying to persuade 54 countries on the continent to jointly nominate a candidate. When we can unite around one candidate, Africa will win. An Au spokesman called on countries to respond to the call.
So far, however, neither the Au nor the EU has been able to persuade Member States to reach a consensus on jointly selecting the best candidate. More than half of the nomination time has passed, leaving them little time.
A source told the media that although the United States threatened to withdraw from the WTO, it was not willing to let go. The trump administration is urging countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia to find a candidate to push for reform in line with the U.S. plan.
Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, had previously said he was not in favor of us exit from the WTO. In the next few months, the United States looks forward to participating in the election process for the new director general, Mr. lethezer said in a statement on Mr. azewidos resignation
At the same time, according to Australian media reports, the trump administration is urging Australia to help find a convincing candidate to run the WTO in order to promote reform of the troubled rulemaking body.
Difficulties of new leader
No matter whos going to spend money, its a consensus that the new leader is difficult.
At present, the WTO has been in a deep dilemma. The three functions of dispute settlement, multilateral trade negotiation and trade policy supervision have been hindered, and calls for reform are increasing. However, due to different demands of members and different priorities for reform, how to coordinate the positions of all parties and promote reform will be the first problem facing the new director general.
According to German economic weekly, the next director general will face many challenges. Novel coronavirus pneumonia, including trade protectionism and the economic recovery after the outbreak of the new crown pneumonia. The new director general also needs to advance negotiations and develop new rules for e-commerce.
WTO is facing a dual crisis of legitimacy and efficiency. This means that the task of the next director general is very arduous, wiender said frankly. people seem to be forming a new understanding that what the next director general needs is not technocrats, negotiators or diplomats, but ministers who can meet all challenges and have political brains. Simon Evenett, a professor of international trade at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, said that the new Director-General needed to reunite the WTO and required all major members to respect its authority, so it would be better for someone with deep political qualifications or high global status to take on the role. Of course, the first thing is to choose a new leader. Reuters said it was a tough task for an organization that has not reached a major international agreement for many years and expects to decide its leaders through consensus. If the WTO is unable to confirm the new director general by August 31, the General Council shall appoint a current deputy director general as acting director general until the appointment of the new director general. Source: responsible editor of times weekly: Wang Xiaowu_ NF
Simon Evenett, a professor of international trade at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, said that the new Director-General needed to reunite the WTO and required all major members to respect its authority, so it would be better for someone with deep political qualifications or high global status to take on the role.
If the WTO is unable to confirm the new director general by August 31, the General Council shall appoint a current deputy director general as acting director general until the appointment of the new director general.