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OECS Commends Historic WTO Appointment

DR. NGOZI Okonjo-Iweala will become the first woman and the first African to be chosen as Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on March 1, 2021. The WTO General Council selected Dr. Okonjo-Iweala by consensus and her term, which is renewable, will expire on 31 August 2025.

Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority, Prime Minister of Dominica Hon. Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, penned a formal congratulatory note to the new WTO Director General assuring that the OECS stands ready to assist Dr. Okonjo-Iweala in discharging her duties as and when required.

Image of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala

Six OECS countries are founding Members of the WTO, a sign of our enduring commitment to the Multilateral Trading System (MTS). It is out of this commitment that we are looking forward to working with you to address certain specific and systemic concerns with a view to improving the MTS in a manner which delivers benefits for all.

Director General of the OECS, Dr. Didacus Jules, in extending congratulations, pledged commitment to the WTO’s mission and vision.

The OECS is pleased to congratulate you on your appointment to the post of Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) following the outcome of the recent Special General Council. We are especially proud of the fact that you are achieving two firsts – the first woman and the first African to lead the WTO. Please be assured of our commitment to the multilateral trading system. We look forward to working closely with you.

Ambassador of the OECS Permanent Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva, H.E Stephen Fevrier, delivered the following remarks on February 15, 2021 at the WTO Special General Council on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Group.

Thank you Chair for the Floor.

This statement is delivered on behalf of the CARICOM Group.

The CARICOM Group aligns itself with the statement delivered by Jamaica on behalf of the ACP Group and joins with other Members to congratulate Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as Director General of the WTO.

Chair, the CARICOM Group would like to thank you and the troika for your good stewardship and steady hand throughout this process, culminating in today’s most welcome development. It is a bright spot for the WTO and a fitting start to the new year in the multilateral trading system – we pledge our collective efforts and commitment to use the multilateral system to help address the economic and trade impacts of the pandemic.

The CARICOM Group would further like to express its appreciation to the Government of Nigeria for advancing Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination. Her timely appointment also marks the dual firsts of being the first woman and African to lead this august body. Her vast knowledge of the global political-economy coupled with her demonstrated commitment to finding solutions to some of the key development challenges of our time, will serve her and this institution well.

Chair, today’s appointment of the new Director General also bears particular significance to the CARICOM Group. Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has a longstanding relationship with the Caribbean Community and is regarded as a friend to CARICOM. Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has generously lent her considerable experience and support to our region through her leadership role on the CARICOM Commission on the Economy. In closing, Chair, the CARICOM Group reaffirms its strong commitment to the multilateral trading system and looks forward to working with the new Director General and her team.

Chair, I thank you.

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