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May 09, 2013

News Release: Brazil's Roberto Azevedo New WTO Director-General

Roberto Azevêdo was chosen as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).  The Brazilian garnered the broadest consensus among the Members of the Organization during the third round of consultations in Geneva, ahead of the Mexican candidate, Herminio Blanco.

The outcome was provided to the candidates the afternoon of May 7, by the troika in charge of the selection process, comprising the chairpersons of the General Council, the Dispute Settlement Body, and the Trade Policy Review Body, who are from Pakistan, Canada, and Sweden, respectively.

“Our vision for the role of WTO Director-General, which favors dialogue and convergence towards revitalizing the multilateral trading system, was very well received by the Members during the campaign,” Azevêdo said.  “My candidacy had a very broad, horizontal basis of support, in all country categories.”

The selection process for the new Director-General began in December 2012, with the registration of candidates for the position.  Aside from Azevêdo, eight other candidates were presented.  Four were eliminated in the first round of consultations in the beginning of April, and another three eliminated in the second round, which ended April 24.

In September, the Brazilian will assume the role now held by Pascal Lamy, from France, three months ahead of the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia.  Azevêdo, the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the WTO in Geneva since 2008, has more than 15 years of experience in subjects related to the WTO and the multilateral trading system, and is generally recognized—which has now been confirmed by the outcome of the elections—for his uniting nature, building the bridges necessary for the revitalization of the negotiating aspect of the WTO that is balanced, prudent, and beneficial for all, and which is the greatest and most urgent challenge facing the WTO. 

As Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota indicated at a news conference, yesterday, “Today is a victory for Brazil”. “It reflects the transformation underway in the global order.”

Source: Ministry of Foreign Relations 



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