26 May 2005

WTO Members choose Lamy as organization's 5th Director-General

The 148 members of the World Trade Organization today formally selected Pascal Lamy of France to be the organization's fifth Director-General. The decision was taken by consensus at the General Council. Mr. Lamy will assume his four year, renewable term on 1 September.

“I congratulate Pascal on his selection as Director-General. His experience in trade matters, his grasp of detail and his proven track record in institutional management ensure that he will be an excellent Director-General. I look forward to working closely with him in the future,” said Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, who will assume 1 September the post of Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

“I intend to make every effort to move the Doha Development Agenda negotiations as far as possible to ensure that we are well positioned for our Hong Kong Ministerial Conference in December. A solid outcome in our July General Council will give Pascal a very good platform from which to launch the last stage of Ministerial preparations,” Director-General Supachai said.

The General Council decision brings to a close the five month process during which four candidates were nominated by their respective governments. In addition to Mr. Lamy, the candidates were Carlos Perez del Castillo of Uruguay, Jaya Krishna Cuttaree of Mauritius and Luiz Felipe Seixas Correa of Brazil.

Following a three month campaign period, General Council Chairman Amina Mohamed of Kenya, and two facilitators, Ambassador Eirik Glenne of Norway and Ambassador Don Stephenson of Canada, met with all WTO delegations to learn their preferences. At the conclusion of each stage of consultations, Amb. Mohamed informed WTO members of the assessment she and the facilitators had made on which of the candidates was least likely to attract the consensus required. Following each assessment one candidate agreed to withdraw from the field. These procedures were in keeping with guidelines agreed by the General Council in December 2002.

“This process has proven that WTO Members can work together and take difficult decisions by consensus. I believe our reaching agreement in this manner bodes well for us particularly as we seek to advance the Doha negotiations and to prepare for our Ministerial Conference,” said Chairman Mohamed.

“We were extremely fortunate to have had such excellent candidates for this important position. Each of them conducted himself with dignity and integrity. I would like to thank as well the WTO Member governments for adhering so unfailingly to our guidelines for DG selection and for ensuring that the process evolved smoothly. My special thanks go to my two colleagues, Ambs. Glenne and Stephenson for their tireless efforts and support during this process,” she said.

> Statement from Pascal Lamy on his appointment as World Trade Organisation’s Director General