On 31 August 2020, Roberto Azevêdo will step down as director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The selection process for the next director-general is underway with eight candidates nominated by national governments around the world. The successful candidate will lead this critically important global organization as it faces enormous challenges amid intensifying international trade tensions, rising protectionism and the unprecedented global economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this webinar, Creon Butler, director of the Global Economy and Finance Programme at Chatham House, will host a conversation with Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former finance minister of Nigeria and candidate for the post of director-general of the WTO. Dr Okonjo-Iweala is currently chair of the Board of Gavi, the global vaccine alliance and is African Union Special Envoy to mobilize international financial support for the fight against COVID-19.

Chatham House has worked since its foundation to support and help develop the rules-based multilateral economic system and this event is part of a centenary series supported by Chatham House and the Global Trade Policy Forum of dialogues with the WTO candidates to better understand their stance on key challenges in world trade. What is their overarching philosophy on global trade? What is their vision of the future role of the WTO and what will be needed to deliver this? And how will they tackle a number of the most pressing issues facing the organization as the world grapples with the COVID-19 crisis and ongoing global trade tensions?

Participants

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance (2003-06 and 2011-15), Nigeria; Director-General Candidate, World Trade Organization

Chair: Creon Butler, Director, Global Economy and Finance Programme, Chatham House