Brazil's Azevedo named to head world trade body
AFP · 8 May 2013, 22:20
Published: 08 May 2013 22:20 GMT+02:00
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Career diplomat Azevedo, who currently represents Brazil at the WTO, was statesmanlike after defeating veteran Mexican trade negotiator Herminio Blanco in the final round of the contest which saw seven contenders stumble last month.
"I want to thank the other eight candidates. Their level of expertise and experience meant we would have a high-quality director general whatever the outcome," Azevedo told reporters.
His win is seen as a clear sign of the clout of emerging power Brazil — Azevedo underlined that Latin America is "more and more influential in global trade — though he has pledged to be a fiercely independent WTO boss.
The Brazilian is to be appointed formally as WTO leader-designate at a General Council meeting on .
, Azevedo urged wrangling nations to think hard.
"What the WTO does has an impact on the lives of every citizen across the world, whether they realise it or not," he told reporters.
"At this point in time, it should not be about getting what we want. It should be about saving what we have. The only way to do it is to look forward, roll up our sleeves, sit down at the table in a solution-finding mode," he said.
"By solving the round, we would be taking the organisation away from paralysis," he added.
Azevedo is due to take over the WTO on from Frenchman Pascal Lamy, a former EU trade chief who steered the organization through two four-year terms.
Over coming months, WTO members are expected to make a string of attempts to pave the way for a strong December summit in Bali, though predictions of even limited success are gloomy.