On May 14, 2020 At the World Trade Organisation(WTO) members virtual meeting, the 6th Director-General Roberto Azevedo(62-year-old), a former Brazilian diplomat & 1st Latin American director announced that he will step down from the 7-year tenure(since 2013) on 31st August on personal grounds, cutting his second term in office short by exactly one year.
- This will enable the members to select his successor in the coming months, without diverting political energy and attention from preparations for the Twelfth Ministerial Conference, which is set to be held in 2021
Roberto Azevedo’s career journey
i.He started his career in the Brazilian Foreign Service in 1984. 1st diplomatic posting was to Washington in 1988 & subsequently served in the Brazilian embassy in Montevideo before being assigned to the Permanent Mission of Brazil in Geneva in 1997.
ii.In 2001 he was named head of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry’s Dispute Settlement Unit where he remained until 2005. From 2006 to 2008 he was Vice-Minister for Economic and Technological Affairs at the Foreign Ministry in Brasilia
iii.In 2008 he was appointed Permanent Representative of Brazil to the WTO and other International Economic Organisations in Geneva & remained in this position till the appointment as WTO Director-General in 2013 for a four-year term.
iv.In February 2017, WTO members reappointed him for a second term, which began on 1 September 2017.
It was established on January 1st 1995 by Uruguay Round negotiations (1986-94). It is the only global international organization which deals with the rules of trade between nations & has 164 members which represent 98% of world trade.
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland