WTO fails to agree on interim leader before choosing new chief



Philip Blenkinsop | Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The World Trade Organization has failed to select a caretaker chief due to an impasse among members who must still agree by November on a replacement for outgoing Director-General Roberto Azevedo, the Geneva-based body said on Friday.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that the WTO was unlikely to fill a leadership void after Washington’s insistence on a U.S. candidate.

The interim chief would normally have been one of the four deputy director-generals who are from China, Germany, Nigeria and the United States. The WTO said on Friday they would instead all stay on in their existing roles.

“The original effort was to try and designate an acting director-general among the four… That was not possible. We were not able to get a consensus on that,” WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell told a briefing.

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