Suddenly! Azevedo resigned in advance, who will be at the helm of the WTO after the new crown epidemic era?
Azevedo pointed out, "WTO may not be perfect, but it is essential. This is what keeps us away from the world where the law of the jungle prevails, at least in terms of trade."
On May 14, Geneva local time, WTO Director-General Azevedo announced that he would resign one year earlier on August 31 this year, shortening his second term by a full year.
By August this year, Azevedo will complete his 7-year WTO Director General position. On this occasion, he made an early resignation decision. He said at the full video conference on May 14 that he did not make this decision lightly.
"During the recent full blockade and my knee surgery, I spent more time than usual in reflection." Azevedo said, "I made this decision after a long discussion with my family. . My wife is in Geneva and my daughter and mother are in Brasilia. This is a personal decision and a family decision. I am convinced that this decision is in the best interests of the organization. "
He pointed out that as members begin to formulate the WTO agenda for new post-COVID realities, they should work with a new director-general.
Azevedo pointed out that the future need to focus on how to promote WTO reform, MC12 (the 12th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference) will be a key milestone in this regard.
He revealed that the selection process for the next WTO Director General will begin in December this year, and then nominate candidates. Then, the selection process will dominate the first three months of 2021.
The sooner you choose a successor, the better
Azevedo pointed out that MC12 should become the cornerstone of WTO in the future.
As a member-led organization of the WTO, the ministerial meeting is its highest decision-making body. At the ministerial level, each member sends a minister to lead a delegation to attend, and is responsible for ensuring the realization of WTO functions and taking necessary actions for this purpose.
The ministerial meeting is held at least once every two years to review the implementation of WTO agreements and the operation of the multilateral trading system, initiate multilateral trade negotiations and review and guide the progress of the negotiations. Make decisions on all matters. Due to the new crown, the meeting originally scheduled for 2020 is currently postponed to 2021.
"Even if MC12 is held at the end of 2021, if I want to continue to stay until the end of my term, my successor has only a few weeks to prepare. I encountered this situation when I took office, and I can tell you directly that this is far from Ideal. "Azevedo explained part of the reason he chose to leave in August. He also emphasized that the selection process of the Director General must be strictly distinguished from the preparation process of MC12.
"When thinking about resigning, I thought of these considerations about time. My conclusion is that the earlier the selection process, the better our situation will be." Azevedo pointed out that I think we must give my successor enough Time, planning the MC12 ’s road with you, etc., “It ’s not a small task by any standards. This requires careful consideration-and enough time to advance such discussions. it is good."
Azevedo also pointed out that "WTO may not be perfect, but it is essential. This is what keeps us away from the world where the law of the jungle prevails, at least in terms of trade."
Azevedo is from Brazil and has served as the Director General of the WTO since September 2013. His second four-year term began in September 2017 and was originally scheduled to end in August 2021. He is the sixth WTO Director-General after Lamy. Prior to that, he had been Brazil ’s Permanent Ambassador to the WTO since 2008.