Okonjo-Iweala, who boasted US, EU and African backing, was not on the WTO’s Geneva headquarters for Monday’s assembly, however was scheduled to carry an internet press convention after its conclusion.
She is going to take over an organisation mired in a number of crises and struggling to assist member states navigate the extreme world financial droop triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Okonjo-Iweala argued through the race that she was greatest positioned out of the eight candidates for the publish to steer the WTO by way of the crises, calling herself a reform candidate.
She warned that rising protectionism and nationalism had been spurred on by the pandemic, and insisted obstacles wanted to be lowered to assist the world recuperate.
Even earlier than Covid-19 battered the worldwide financial system, the WTO was weighed down by stalled commerce talks and struggled to curb commerce tensions between the USA and China.
The WTO additionally confronted relentless assaults from Washington beneath Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump. Amongst different issues, Trump introduced the WTO’s dispute settlement enchantment system to a grinding halt in late 2019.
Okonjo-Iweala has mentioned her priorities embrace getting long-blocked commerce talks on fishery subsidies throughout the end line and respiration life again into WTO’s Appellate Physique.
Twice Nigeria’s finance minister (2003-2006 and 2011-2015), and its first feminine international minister in a two-month stint in 2006, Okonjo-Iweala is seen as a trailblazer in her homeland.
She has disregarded claims she lacks expertise as a commerce minister or negotiator.
She has portrayed herself as a champion towards Nigeria’s rampant corruption – saying her personal mom was even kidnapped over her makes an attempt to deal with the scourge.
However her critics argue she ought to have completed extra to deal with it whereas in energy.
A growth economist by coaching with levels from the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise and Harvard, Okonjo-Iweala has additionally had a 25-year profession as a growth economist on the World Financial institution, ultimately turning into its quantity two.
She is on the Twitter board of administrators and chaired Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.