4 January 2005

Four candidates nominated for the post of Director-General

The following candidates have been nominated by their respective governments for the post of WTO Director-General to succeed the current Director-General, Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, whose term of office expires on 31 August 2005:

Carlos Pérez del Castillo of Uruguay
Jaya Krishna Cuttaree of Mauritius
Luiz Felipe de Seixas Corrêa of Brazil
Pascal Lamy of France

According to the WTO procedures for appointment of Director-General (summarised below), the nomination period closed on 31 December 2004.

A formal General Council meeting will be held on 26 January 2005 where candidates will present themselves to the membership.

The selection process will conclude with a decision by the General Council no later than 31 May 2005.

Summary of the appointment procedures

The procedures for the appointment of Director-General, adopted by the General Council on 10 December 2002 (WT/L/509), stipulate that the appointment process must start nine months prior to the expiry of the term of the incumbent Director-General.

Since the term of office of the current Director-General, Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, comes to an end on 31 August 2005, the appointment process for the next Director-General began on 1 December 2004.

Full details of the procedures are set out in document WT/L/509. Some of the time-lines for the process are summarised below:   

1 — 31 December 2004: One month for Member Governments to nominate candidates.

1 January — 31 March 2005:  Three months for the nominated candidates to make themselves known to Members, to engage in discussions on the pertinent issues facing the WTO, and to be invited to meet with Members at a formal General Council meeting.

1 April 2005 — 31 May 2005:
 Two months for the Members to select and appoint one of the candidates. The process shall conclude with a meeting of the General Council convened not later than three months prior to the expiry of the incumbent’s term (i.e. by 31 May 2005), at which a decision to appoint a new Director-General shall be taken.