World Trade Organization chief, Roberto Azevêdo, quits a year early

world trade organization

The World Trade Organization’s chief has announced he is quitting more than a year before the end of his term

Roberto Azevedo steps down from World Trade Organization and will leave in August 2020. The 62-year-old Brazilian has served as director-general since September 2013 and his second four-year term had been due to end in August 2021.

Roberto Azevêdo is the sixth Director-General of the WTO. He became Director-General on 1 September 2013, serving a four-year term. At a meeting of the General Council in February 2017, WTO members agreed by consensus to appoint Roberto Azevêdo as Director-General for a second four-year term, which started  on 1 September 2017

In recent weeks Azevêdo has joined leaders of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in calling for countries to put aside their differences and reduce trade barriers to support economic growth. In a statement he said the decision to step down was personal and the timing allowed for a successor to be chosen well before WTO council meetings next year.

The WTO may not be perfect, but it is indispensable all the same

Defending the organisation, which has come under sustained attack from free market supporters, especially in the US, he said: “The WTO may not be perfect, but it is indispensable all the same. It is what keeps us from a world where the law of the jungle prevails, at least as far as trade is concerned.”

The 25-year-old organisation’s main function is to help negotiate multilateral trade deals. It also aims to settle cross-border commercial squabbles in its dispute resolution body and monitor trade flows. Read more about the World Trade Organization HERE

WTO establishes nomination window for DG selection

WTO members have established a month-long period in which candidates seeking to succeed Roberto Azevêdo as Director-General may submit their nomination bids. General Council Chair David Walker of New Zealand informed members on 20 May the appointment process for the next Director-General would formally commence on 8 June with nominations accepted from that date until 8 July.

Source/ Image Credit: WTO
Source: The Guardian