The World Trade Organization members have selected two final candidates to advance to the final round in the race to lead the trade based body, a Bloomberg report said Wednesday.
The World Trade Organization said Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee advanced to the final round in the race to be its director-general, setting the stage for the first woman to lead the 25-year-old organization.
“Our aim continues to be to encourage and facilitate the building of consensus among members, and to assist in moving from this final slate of two candidates to a decision on appointment,” WTO General Council Chairman David Walker said during a meeting Thursday in Geneva.
Walker said the last phase of the selection process will begin on Oct. 19 and run until Oct. 27, after which the WTO will seek to name a consensus winner.
Okonjo-Iweala, 66, served two stints as Nigeria’s finance minister and one term as foreign affairs minister. She has experience working at international governance bodies as a former managing director of the World Bank and as a chairman at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.
Yoo, 53, is South Korea’s trade minister. During her 25-year career in government, she has helped expand her country’s trade network through bilateral accords with China, the European Union, the U.K. and the U.S.
If WTO members are unable to select a leader by consensus, a vote requiring a qualified majority could be held as a last resort, which would be an unprecedented development for the organization.