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New Zealand Welcomes Appointment Of New WTO Director General

Hon Damien O’Connor

Minister for Trade and Export Growth

Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor congratulated Nigeria’s Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her ground-breaking selection as the next Director General of the World Trade Organization last night.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala will be the first female and first African Director General of the organisation. She has a strong background in international governance, having previously served in senior positions at the World Bank and as Nigeria’s Finance Minister.

Minister O’Connor also congratulated Korea’s Minister for Trade, Yoo Myung-hee, on her candidacy, and acknowledged her withdrawal from the race in order to facilitate consensus.

“Trade underpins global growth, helping to create jobs and alleviate poverty. The Covid19 pandemic has seen significant downward trends in global trade, and trade will form an important part of the international recovery effort. It’s important that we have a strong multilateral framework at the WTO with effective leadership to guide Members’ efforts and undertake necessary reform,” Damien O’Connor said.

“New Zealand looks forward to working with Dr Okonjo-Iweala to progress New Zealand’s negotiating priority of concluding ambitious disciplines on fisheries subsidies as soon as possible this year, and to resolve the long-standing impasse on the Appellate Body in order to maintain a two-tier binding dispute settlement system. There’s a lot to do before the Twelfth Ministerial Conference this year.”

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