WTO Director-General selection process

Nine candidates were nominated by their governments in December 2012 to succeed the current Director-General, Pascal Lamy, whose term ends on 31 August 2013. The procedures for appointing the WTO Director-General are described in document WT/L/509.  A detailed explanation for this current selection process can be found in a 1 November 2012 Communication from the General Council Chair to members. At a special meeting on 14 May 2013, the General Council approved the appointment of Ambassador Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo (Brazil) as the next Director-General of the WTO. He began his term of office on 1 September 2013.

> Current WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy
Deputy Director-General selection process
Previous GATT and WTO Directors-General

News  back to top


Director-General selection timetable 2012–13

The appointment is made by a consensus decision of the General Council, which consists of all WTO members. Nine candidates were put forward by their governments during the nomination period which closed on 31 December. The candidates presented themselves to the WTO membership in the General Council, 29–31 January 2013. They also spoke to the press.

From 1 April the General Council chair (Amb. Shahid Bashir of Pakistan), assisted by chairs of the Dispute Settlement Body (Amb. Jonathan Fried of Canada) and the Trade Policy Review Body (Amb. Joakim Reiter of Sweden), will consult all members. Their task is to help members build a consensus, and move from the initial field of candidates to a final appointment no later than 31 May 2013. On 19 March, the General Council chairperson told ambassadors how the consultations would be organized.

On 12 April, the General Council chair reported the result of the first round of consultations, and announced a revised slate of five candidates.

On 26 April, he reported on the second round, with two candidates remaining: Mr Herminio Blanco of Mexico and Mr Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo of Brazil.

On 8 May, the three chairs recommended Mr Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo of Brazil to members as the consensus candidate. He was formally accepted as the next Director-General by the General Council on 14 May.





1 December — nominations open


31 December — nominations close




29–31 January — Candidates meet General Council, give press conferences





Candidates campaign






From 1 AprilGeneral Council chair, assisted by chairs of Dispute Settlement Body and Trade Policy Review Body, consults all members on the selection. Reports: 12 April, 26 April.

May Recommendation: 8 May; Decision: 14 May
31 May  — Deadline for General Council decision to appoint the new Director-General












31 August — end of current term




1 September — new Director-General takes office

1 November 2012 Communication from the General Council Chair to members
Procedures for the appointment of Directors-General (WTO document code WT/L/509)


Selection process in 2009   back to top

At the end of the nomination period, Pascal Lamy was the only candidate. In April 2009, WTO members reappointed Mr Lamy as Director-General for a second four-year term, starting on 1 September 2009.


News 2009  back to top


Selection process in 2005   back to top


Nominated candidates in 2005   back to top

Listed in the order in which their nominations were received:

Carlos Pérez del Castillo of Uruguay



Jaya Krishna Cuttaree of Mauritius



Luiz Felipe de Seixas Corrêa of Brazil



Pascal Lamy of France


Procedures for the appointment of Directors-General (WTO document code WT/L/509)

> Appointment of the next Director-General
Communication from the Chair of the General Council to members, 1 November 2012

> Appointment of the next Director-General — Further Process
Statement by the Chair of the General Council, 19 March 2013


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