New WTO boss targets ‘early wins’ in Covid-19 fight

Newly appointed head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, says having « early wins and successes » in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic will help restore trust in the organisation.

She said that the priority was to look at how WTO can help make access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics more accessible and affordable to poor countries.

« I believe that building trust is not just talking about it; you’ve got to do it by building through small steps, early wins and successes that can then help create the trust. »

The WTO faces numerous challenges in its work to settle trade disputes, counter growing protectionism, and to help steer the world out of the economic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Some observers say it is an organisation in crisis.

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