WTO job: Why Alan Kyerematen et al were dropped

Alan John Kwadwo Keyerematen

Alan John Kwadwo Keyerematen

The General Council of the World Trade Organisation, the highest-level decision-making body in Geneva, has outlined the procedures adopted by the Council to whittle down nine candidates gunning for the Director General of WTO to five.

Ghana’s former Trade Minister Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen and Kenyan’s Ms Amina C. Mohamed, with two others from Costa Rica and Jordan failed to advance to the second round of the selection process.

Addressing an informal General Council Meeting at the level of heads of delegations on Friday afternoon, Chairman of the General Council, H.E. Mr. Shahid Bashir explained that even though the four missed out, “they are all highly qualified and respected individuals”.

Mr Bashir confirmed that by 9th April 2013, the Council had consulted with all the 159 WTO Members before arriving at its decision.

The five candidates who made it to the second round of consultations are: Ms Mari Elka Pangestu (Indonesia); Mr Tim Groser (New Zealand); Mr Herminio Blanco (Mexico); Mr Taeho Bark (Republic of Korea); and Mr Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo (Brazil).

The three facilitators in the process for the selection of the next Director-General will begin on 16 April 2013 and continue through Wednesday 24 April the second round of consultations on the basis of a revised slate of five candidates.

Mr Bashir remarked: “Let me say that, as you will recall, the membership directed at the 13 March meeting of Heads of Delegation that our discretion be fully constrained and that we assess solely the number of preferences and the breadth of support across geographic regions and recognized categories of Members. And this is exactly what we did.”

He also stressed that: “The ultimate aim of the consultation process shall be to identify the candidate around whom consensus can be built. In order to do this, it may be necessary to conduct successive consultations to identify the candidate or candidates least likely to attract such a consensus”.

Meanwhile, trade activist and Executive Director of Third World Network, Dr. Yaw Graham is suggesting that Alan Kyerematen’s missed out on the WTO top job due to the lack of consensus on selecting one candidate from Africa.

Dr. Graham told Joy Business the continent has itself to blame for not having any of its candidates in the shortlist.

Click here to read the full statement by the Chairman of the General Council