An official in the Office of the Nigerian Representative to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has reacted to Bloomberg’s report insinuating that Trump administration on Wednesday “vetoed a bid” by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to be the next director-general of the global trading institution.
The official who doesn’t want his name in print because he has no authority to speak on this mater, said: “No veto power privilege in WTO. It is only in the UN Security Council that such privileges exist.”
“Washington won’t join a consensus to appoint Okonjo-Iweala because the U.S. supports her opponent South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee,” Bloomberg quoted Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Dennis Shea as hinted WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell.
Explaining further, the Nigerian trade official noted that “in the WTO, all decisions are taken by positive consensus. Except in the Dispute Settlement Body where the negative consensus rule apply. This implies that in the General Council meeting of 9th November, any member, including the US can block the confirmation of the DG-WTO elect.”
“The U.S at today’s meeting registered its reservation on the victory of Nigeria Candidate in the last round. All other Members including virtually all developed countries believe the selection process was transparent and in accordance with the rules of Procedure.”
“It appears US is likely to block consensus confirmation of the appointment when the General Council convene on 9/11. However, the Rules of Procedure provides for option B in cases where consensus cannot be achieved. That is voting by Members where simple majority is required to confirm the candidate,” he said.
He added that Nigeria’s Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela “enjoyed overwhelming support of over 100 Members. All we need to by pass consensus is just slightly over 82 votes. So no worries. I believe the US will see reason and refrain from blocking consensus. If they don’t, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will still be confirmed through actual voting.”