Saturday, May 14, 2005

It Is Done, But…: A Specification

The process of consultations in the WTO on the future Director General of the organization is done. This process is intended to establish a leading candidate, without, however, taking any formal vote. The last challenger to Pascal Lamy, the Uruguayan Carlos Perez de Castillo, has withdrawn his candidacy. The Kenyan Ambassador Amina Mohammed, chair of the three-person selection committee that conducted the consultations, has announced that she will recommend to the 148 member states that they appoint Lamy as the new Director General, to take office September 1. Polite statements have been issued by the appropriate diplomatic representatives – among others, US Trade Representative Rob Portman – welcoming Lamy’s expected ascendance to the WTO post.

BUT: it is not until May 26 that the General Council of the WTO will meet formally to make the appointment, and the WTO operates by consensus. There is still, then, a theoretical possibility that the Lamy candidacy could be blocked.