Kenya nominates CS Amina Mohamed for WTO Director-General post

Kenya nominates CS Amina Mohamed for WTO Director-General post
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed at a past event. PHOTO| COURTESY

Kenya has nominated Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for the post of World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General.

Ms Mohamed alongside five other contestants, among them two Africans, are seeking to succeed the current Director-General, Mr Roberto Azevêdo who announced he will step down in August this year.

She had contested against Mr Azevêdo in 2013 but lost on a decision made by consensus among member states.

The other contestants include; Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria), Mr. Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh (Egypt),  Mr Jesús Seade Kuri (Mexico), Mr Tudor Ulianovschi (Moldova) and Ms Yoo Myung-hee (Republic of Korea).

The WTO director-general is appointed through consensus among the members states, thus the candidates are expected to embark of intensive lobbying for the position.

“The process leading up to the decision by the General Council to appoint a Director-General shall be conducted by the Chair of the General Council in consultation with Members and in accordance with the procedures set out herein,” states WTO on its website.

Candidates for the position are required to have extensive experience in international relations, encompassing economic, trade and/or political experience.

The appointment process begins nine months prior to the expiry of the term of an incumbent Director-General with a notification from the Chair to the General Council.  The process concludes with a meeting of the General Council convened not later than three months prior to the expiry of an incumbent’s term, at which a decision to appoint a new Director-General shall be taken.

Members shall have one month after the start of the appointment process to nominate candidates.

Nominations shall be submitted by Members only, and in respect of their own nationals. The candidates nominated shall then have three months to make themselves known to Members and to engage in discussions on the pertinent issues facing the Organization.

The remaining two months prior to the conclusion of this process shall be devoted to selecting and appointing one of the candidates.

The Director-General shall be appointed for a term of four years, and shall be eligible for reappointment for a further term not exceeding four years.

Amb. Amina Mohamed she previously guided the WTO as Chairperson of all its highest decision-making bodies, including the Ministerial Conference (2015), the General Council (2005), the Dispute Settlement Body (2004) and the Trade Policy Review Body (2004).

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