Some Bloomberg trade officials, who declined to be identified, hinted that WTO’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has come to appreciate the frustrating ‘’inertia of change” embedded in the WTO ‘DNA,’ and is considering quitting.
Note that Bloomberg’s top trade operatives understand a thing or two about the World Trade Organization, WTO, and its policies and politics, making it difficult to dismiss ‘rumors,’ or hints which they let the public into.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the leader of the World Trade Organization, began the year with a plan to score quick negotiating victories that she said would help reboot the dysfunctional Geneva-based trade body.
Okonjo-Iweala has been reported to repeatedly tell ambassadors and staff that she could easily walk away from the job, and reminding them she hasn’t bought any furniture for her temporary home in Geneva, the Bloomberg officials said.
Barely seven months into her four-year tenure as the Director General at the World Trade Organisation, WTO, reports indicates a mounting frustration by Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala with the workings of the organization and has contemplated resigning if no headway can be found on critical issues.
Deep divisions and a lack of trust are not new for the WTO, which requires consensus agreement among all 164 members to finalize multilateral accords.
The WTO’s rigid negotiating structure and disparate interests of its diverse membership have precluded the organization from delivering anything substantial for the better part of the past decade.
Last year, Okonjo-Iweala’s predecessor, Roberto Azevedo cited the lack of progress at the WTO as his primary reason for resigning from the organization a year before his tenure was scheduled to end.
Okonjo-Iweala didn’t comment about her threats to resign but denied any interest in running for the Nigerian presidency, as alluded, calling such speculation “utterly ridiculous and not true.”