Statement by Minister Kajiyama on the selection of H.E. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General of the World Trade Organization
February 16, 2021
I congratulate the selection of Her Excellency Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the Special General Council Meeting on February 15 in Geneva.
The WTO, which is responsible for the multilateral trading system, should contribute to tackling challenges that have emerged from the drastic changes in the economic and social environment globally.
Due to the spread of COVID-19, ensuring access to medical supplies has become a major issue, and the digitalization in socio-economic activities is accelerating. Achieving carbon neutrality on a global scale is what each member should work on in a collaborative manner.
In addition, we should accelerate the discussions on ensuring a level playing field by preventing government market-distorting measures, and on improving the dispute settlement mechanism towards restoring the functioning of the Appellate Body.
I am confident that the new Director-General Her Excellency Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will exercise her leadership and fulfill her responsibilities towards resolving these issues.
Japan will take a lead in updating the WTO rules, cooperating with the new Director-General and other WTO members in order for the WTO to function as the core of the trading system, corresponding to the change of economic and social activities.
Division in Charge
Multilateral Trade System Department, Trade Policy Bureau