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The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business.

Who is the Director-General of WTO at present?

The most recent Director-General of WTO was Roberto Azevêdo. According to the newsdaily, he stepped down as WTO Director-General on 31 August 2020, a year before the expiry of his mandate. Following his announcement in May 2020 that he would step down early, the selection process to appoint a new Director-General was launched by General Council Chair David Walker of New Zealand. In concert with WTO members, Amb.

Walker is conducting the process in accordance with the procedures for the appointment of the Director-General agreed by the General Council in December 2002.

Biography and Profile of Roberto Azevêdo

Mr Azevêdo holds a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Brasilia. He subsequently attended the ‘Instituto Rio Branco’, the graduate school of diplomacy run by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations. He joined the Brazilian Foreign Service in 1984.

His first diplomatic posting was to Washington in 1988. He subsequently served in the Brazilian embassy in Montevideo before being assigned to the Permanent Mission of Brazil in Geneva in 1997.

Roberto Azevêdo served on WTO dispute settlement panels and, in 2001, he was named head of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry’s Dispute Settlement Unit where he remained until 2005. During his tenure he acted as chief litigator in many disputes at the WTO.

Who is the Director General of WTO?
Biography and Profile of Roberto Azevêdo

From 2006 to 2008 he was Vice-Minister for Economic and Technological Affairs at the Foreign Ministry in Brasilia. In that capacity he was also Brazil's chief trade negotiator for the Doha Round and other WTO issues.

In 2008 he was appointed Permanent Representative of Brazil to the WTO and other International Economic Organisations in Geneva.

Mr Azevêdo has been a frequent lecturer on topics related to international trade and has published numerous articles on these issues.

He is married to Maria Azevêdo. They have two daughters and three granddaughters.

What is the World Trade Organization (WTO)?

The World Trade Organization is a global organization made up of 164 member countries that deals with the rules of trade between nations.1 Its goal is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly and predictably as possible. The WTO is run by its member governments. All major decisions are made by the membership as a whole, either by ministers (who usually meet at least once every two years) or by their ambassadors or delegates (who meet regularly in Geneva), as listed in Investopedia.

In its official website, WTO has confirmed that the WTO agreements are lengthy and complex because they are legal texts covering a wide range of activities. But a number of simple, fundamental principles run throughout all of these documents. These principles are the foundation of the multilateral trading system.

What is the Director-General of WTO?

The Director-General of the World Trade Organization is the officer of the World Trade Organization responsible for supervising and directing the organization's administrative operations. Because World Trade Organizations' decisions are made by member states (through either a Ministerial Conference or through the General Council), the Director-General has little power over matters of policy - the role is primarily advisory and managerial. The Director-General supervises the WTO secretariat of about 700 staff and is appointed by WTO members for a term of four years.

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