New WTO head makes Indian Mission in Geneva her first stop of visit
This comes just three days after the Nigerian American economist took over as the WTO head
The newly appointed Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala visited the Indian mission in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday.
Her visit marked the first bilateral interaction she had following her appointment as the head of the global body on 1 March.
“We were the first country she decided to meet bilaterally and preferred the meeting at our place,” said the mission in a statement.
Apart from meeting the Indian’s Permanent Representative to United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Ajit Kumar, Dr Okonjo-Iweala also held discussions with ambassadors of Colombia, South Africa and Canada.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala tweeted, “Getting down to work on @WTO deliverables with Amb. Brajendra Navnit of India and team @DoC_Gol, Amb. Santiago Wills @WillsSantiago of Colombia, Amb. Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter of South Africa, and Amb. Stephen de Boer @SdB_dip of Canada.”
The interaction with India’s Permanent Representative to UN in Geneva comes just three days after the Nigerian American economist and a former two-time finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was appointed as director-general of World Trade Organization (WTO).
Earlier on assuming office on 1 March, the WTO had tweeted, “Welcome to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her first day as WTO Director-General. She makes history as the first woman and first African to take up this post.”
On her first day as Director-General, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala highlighted the importance of the WTO in a tweet saying, “I am coming into one of the most important institutions in the world and we have a lot of work to do. I feel ready to go.”
In her speech addressing the WTO General Council immediately after taking office, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala called on members to “do things differently” to achieve reforms necessary to keep the WTO relevant, starting with swift action to curb harmful fisheries subsidies, and to help scale up COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution.
The new head of the WTO noted that high expectations for her tenure can only be met if members are willing to compromise and reach agreements.
Elected by representatives of the 164 countries as the WTO chief, Okonjo-Iweala stressed that her priority would be to “implement the policy responses we need to get the global economy going again” in her role, according to her first statement as head of WTO.