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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director General of the World Trade Organization and a Nigerian native, has responded to speculations that she may resign from her post to run for President in 2023.

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The notion was described as “utterly ludicrous and untrue” by the author. “I just came here,” Okonjo-Iweala remarked. I am liking what I’m doing. It’s a thrilling work, and I’m hoping to achieve some success here.”

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According to Bloomberg News, the WTO’s director general started the year with “a plan to win fast negotiation triumphs that she said would help revitalize the dysfunctional Geneva-based trade body;” She has, however, thoroughly comprehended the vexing fact of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) historical inertia.

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The New York-based medium quoted five trade officials in Geneva who declined to be identified.

This year, Okonjo-Iweala has repeatedly told ambassadors and staff that she could easily walk away from the job, and reminds them she hasn’t bought any furniture for her temporary home in Geneva, the officials said.

An early departure of the WTO’s top trade official would add yet another layer of chaos to an organization suffering from an existential crisis that may lead governments to conclude the WTO is not a credible forum for addressing their shared challenges, the medium stated.

Deep divisions and a lack of trust are not new for the WTO, which requires consensus agreement among all 164 members to finalise multilateral accords.

Last year, Okonjo-Iweala’s predecessor — Roberto Azevedo — cited the lack of progress at the WTO as his primary reason for resigning from the organisation a year before his tenure was scheduled to end.

Some Geneva trade officials told Bloomberg News that they suspect Okonjo-Iweala wants to run in the 2023 presidential election in her native country of Nigeria.

Okonjo-Iweala didn’t comment about her threats to resign but denied any interest in running for the Nigerian presidency, calling such speculation “utterly ridiculous and not true” in a statement to Bloomberg News.

“I just got here. I am enjoying what I’m doing,” she told Bloomberg News in a television interview. “It is a very exciting job and I am trying to have some successes here.

The true test of Okonjo-Iweala’s leadership will come in November, when she hosts the WTO’s 12th ministerial conference — a gathering of the organisation’s highest decision-making body, Bloomberg states; noting that, to date, WTO members have failed to make significant headway on the three priority areas Okonjo-Iweala identified for potential outcomes at the biennial meeting.

They are: an agreement to curb harmful fishery subsidies; a pledge to reduce trade-distorting agricultural policies; and
and a framework to expand global trade in vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

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