Thursday, February 18, 2021

Afrihealth Congratulates Okonjo-Iweala, demands WTO promotes more fair gender-sensitive trade

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African civil society organizations under the aegis of Afrihealth Optonet Association has congratulated Her Excellency Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her emergence and confirmation as the next Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The felicitation which was convened in a congratulatory message , signed by Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje, CEO/Global Coordinator Afrihealth Optonet Association (CSOs Network)
described Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment as well deserved.
“We thank H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, the Africa Union and all the countries, groups and individuals who made this election possible.

“Aware that this appointment is coming at a time when COVID-19 is ravaging trade and economies around the world, we are not unmindful that your tenure could be very challenging. We are however, resolutely confident that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala shall deliver, judging from her track records of achievements as the Managing Director of the World Bank, Minister of Finance of Nigeria, Chairman of the Board of GAVI, among others.

“As the first woman, first African and first black person to head the WTO, we urge the new Director General to consider focusing on achieving gender-balanced trades and economic activities across the word especially in Africa and the developing world; as well as urgently address the socioeconomic and health disasters brough upon world trade by COVID-19 and persisting unfair global trade environment. We urge your Excellency to enthrone a world trade regime that will ‘Leave No One Behind’”.

Continuing, Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje gave a brief background of the organization stating that
Afrihealth Optonet Association is a CSOs network/think-tank of 600 organizations in the global South for the promotion of Health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being; and the SDGs, using partnerships, advocacy, research/evidence-generation, capacity development, outreaches, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) as strategies; while focusing on rural and poor urban communities, vulnerable and disadvantaged populations; and exploring the nexus/interlinkages between Health – including HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Energy and Environment – including climate change, biodiversity and ecosystems, Nutrition and Food Security, and Gender, Good Governance and Human Rights. Afrihealth has a Consultative Status at the United Nations ECOSOC

Stressing on the doggedness of Ngozi, “We extol the calmness and doggedness with which Dr. Ngozi progressed in the last one year in her desire to serve the world for the better, and urge politicians and seekers of power to learn from her approach.

“We wish H.E. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala a successful tenure as the DG of the WTO, and look forward to the renewal of your term in the next four years, in lieu of your anticipated excellent performance. We know she’ll deliver”, he added.

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