- Title: Kenyan candidate for WTO chief says body "in urgent need of reform"
- Date: 16th July 2020
- Summary: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (JULY 16, 2020) (REUTERS) KENYAN'S CANDIDATE TO HEAD THE WTO, AMINA MOHAMED ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE MOHAMED TAKING OFF HER MASK NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) KENYAN'S CANDIDATE TO HEAD THE WTO, AMINA MOHAMED, SAYING: "This vital system is being tested as never before. The WTO was already in difficulties before COVID-19 struck. Its negotiating functions had faulted with only limited successes in the last 25 years despite the launched of the Doha round of negotiations at the beginning of the century. Trade tensions have increased, and the dispute settlement system has been compromised. There is widespread acknowledgment among WTO members that the WTO is in urgent need of reform." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) KENYAN'S CANDIDATE TO HEAD THE WTO, AMINA MOHAMED, SAYING: "I think Africa takes the WTO very seriously and that is the reason why the calibre of the candidates that have come forward is so distinct and so high. And I don't think that Africa should be penalized for putting forward, you know, a number of candidates. There are 54 countries on the continent after all, you know, and we have different, you know part of the continent. So basically, I think one should not be penalized for putting candidates up to take up, you know a position." MOHAMED LEAVING SOUTH KOREA'S CANDIDATE TO HEAD WTO, YOO MYUNG-HEE SITTING AND TAKING OFF HER MASK NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH KOREA'S CANDIDATE TO HEAD WTO, YOO MYUNG-HEE, SAYING: "I'm confident that Japan will also look at the candidates, when they actually look at the candidates, to Japan, what is almost as important is the person, the candidate competence and capabilities to save and enhance the WTO and also to take WTO reforms. So, in that regard, I will reach out to Japanese colleagues and will present my vision for the WTO and I'm confident they will also approach this issue rather than in the perspective, from the perspectives of the dispute, but from the perspectives of saving and promoting the multilateral trading system." PHOTOGRAPHERS YOO STANDING UP AT END OF NEWS CONFERENCE MOLDOVA'S CANDIDATE TO HEAD WTO, TUDOR ULIANOVSCHI, ARRIVING ON PODIUM ULIANOVSCHI DRINKING AND SITTING (SOUNDBITE) (English) MOLDOVA'S CANDIDATE TO HEAD WTO, TUDOR ULIANOVSCHI, SAYING: "I do believe that the role of the DG (director general) of WTO is first of all to be an honest broker between the WTO members and to be able to actively engage in both listening to the concerns expressed and to the actions taken by certain members with a view to provide its offices, the good offices of the WTO DG, to engage the members involved and particularly Washington and Beijing in a dialogue process." WTO BUILDING WTO LOGO AND SIGN
- Embargoed: 30th July 2020 19:24
- Keywords: Amina Mohamed Kenyan Tudor Ulianovschi WTO Yoo Myung-Hee head
- Location: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- City: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Switzerland
- Topics: Government/Politics,International Trade
- Reuters ID: LVA001CN28QX3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Kenya's candidate to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO), Amina Mohamed, said on Thursday (July 16) that the body is "in urgent need of reform".
She told journalists in Geneva: "There is widespread acknowledgement among WTO members that the WTO is in urgent need of reform."
Roberto Azevedo's successor will need to steer reforms and negotiations in the face of rising protectionism, a deep recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and growing trade tensions, notably between the United States and China.
Nominations from eight countries have been submitted, including three African candidates: Hamid Mamdouh from Egypt, currently Geneva-based lawyer, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from Nigeria, board chair of global vaccine alliance Gavi and Mohamed from Kenya.
Mohamed, 58, Kenyan sport and culture minister, was ambassador to the WTO in 2005 and the first woman to chair the WTO's General Council.
She ran for the director general post unsuccessfully in 2013.
South Korea's trade minister Yoo Myung-hee, 53, is also candidate for the head of WTO. She led South Korea's renegotiation of a trade deal with the United States and worked on South Korea's trade pacts with Singapore and ASEAN.
Earlier this month, South Korea resumed a WTO dispute process with Japan over export curbs on some high-tech materials, saying talks to resolve the dispute, born out of a deterioration in bilateral relations last year, had failed to make progress.
Moldova Tudor Ulianovschi, 37, the youngest candidate, who was foreign minister between 2018-2019, a diplomat and also has some experience in the private sector, said, if chosen, he will try to bring China and the United States back at table.
This phase of the race starts up to two months of campaigning followed by a final decision by consensus. The campaign is set to end on September 7.
(Production: Cecile Mantovani)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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