Director-General elect, Roberto Azevêdo has announced the appointment of Yi Xiaozhun of China, Karl-Ernst Brauner of Germany, Yonov Frederick Agah of Nigeria and David Shark of the United States as his four Deputies Director-General. The new Director-General will begin his term on 1 September while his deputies begin service on 1 October 2013.
“I am delighted that these exceptional individuals have agreed to join me at the WTO. They will play a vital role in advancing the aims of the Organization at this key point in time. As global trade continues to play an important role in economic growth and social development, and as new players, patterns and practices continue to emerge, the role of the multilateral trading system has never been more important. The skills and experience that my Deputies bring will help ensure that we can develop and enhance the WTO’s agenda across its many different areas of work, including at the Bali Ministerial meeting in December which is an immediate priority. I look forward to working with them, as well as others in the WTO Secretariat, and with Member governments in the years ahead,” Azevêdo said.
Mr. Yi is an experienced senior trade official in China’s Ministry of Commerce who has worked on international trade issues since the 1980s. He has served as China’s Ambassador to the WTO since 2011. Dr. Brauner is a senior officer in the Federal Department of Economics and Technology who has been Germany’s representative to the Trade Policy Committee in Brussels for the last 12 years. He has been involved with the WTO since the start of the Doha Development Agenda. Mr. Agah has been closely involved with international trade issues in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment since the early 1990s, including as Nigeria’s Ambassador to the WTO since 2005. He was Chair of the WTO General Council in 2011. Mr. Shark has been serving as the US’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the WTO since 2000 and has a long experience with GATT and WTO issues going back to the 1970s in the Office of the US Trade Representative.
The Deputies have been selected because of their outstanding commitment to the multilateral trading system and their extensive experience on WTO issues over many years. They will be working directly with the Director-General to advance the interests of the Organization, including the preparations for the 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali. “Their specific skills and experience of these deputies will be immensely valuable to advancing the effective and efficient functioning of the WTO,” Azevêdo said.
DG-Elect Azevêdo consulted extensively with WTO members in the selection of the DDGs. This has enabled him to make sure that the qualities each of the Deputies will bring to their new positions will benefit the WTO and its future work. While they come from different regions that symbolize the geographical diversity of the WTO membership, from 1 October they will be serving the multilateral trading system working with the Director-General as a team along with all WTO members.
Director-General Elect Azevêdo has also announced that his Chef de Cabinet will be Tim Yeend who has been Australian Ambassador to the WTO for the last three years.
“I am pleased that Mr Yeend will be taking on this new role as principal adviser in my Office. His extensive experience and knowledge of the WTO will help me in setting out a strong forward agenda, including in the immediate context of the Bali Ministerial,” Azevêdo said.