San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Foreign Trade Minister Anabel González presents her candidacy to head the World Trade Organization

GENEVA – Costa Rican Foreign Trade Minister Anabel González on Tuesday presented her plans for heading the World Trade Organization (WTO) to 156 members of the WTO General Council.

“I think I meet all the requirements for this position, because I’ve been working in international trade for 25 years,” the minister said during a press conference.

González said she wants to conclude negotiations of the Doha round, begun in 2001 and currently at an impasse.

“I’m willing to assume the position of director-general with independence, passion and responsibility”,” she said.

When questioned about a possible withdrawal in favor of another Latin American candidate, González said, “it’s still too early to consider it,” adding that, “it would be better to wait until all candidates speak before the General Council.”

The three Latin American candidates were the first to appear before the WTO General Council. In addition to González, regional candidates include Mexico’s former trade minister, Herminio Blanco, and Brazilian diplomat Roberto Azevedo.

A total of nine candidates aspire to lead the WTO – six men and three women – most of them ministers or former ministers in the governments of their respective countries. The successful candidate will replace Pascal Lamy from France.

The WTO General Council is expected to make a final decision no later than May 31.

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