The United States of America has refused to back Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s and Africa’s candidate to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General position, deciding to rather rally behind South Korea’s candidate. Okonjo-Iweala, a former finance and foreign affairs minister of Nigeria, is the only African candidate among the three that were contesting for WTO’s top position to replace Roberto Azevedo. The woman candidate secured all but the US support on Wednesday. The US delegation at the WTO in Geneva said it supports Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea, another woman candidate for the position. WTO Spokesperson Keith Rockwell told the media that 27 delegations took the floor during the informal heads of delegations meeting expressing their decision to select Okonjo-Iweala, and one delegation – the US - said it won’t support her. Delegates for the members are expected to hold a general council meeting on November 9, to make a formal decision to determine if there is indeed consensus support for Okonjo-Iweala. The WTO traditionally chooses its director-general by consensus, with all 164 members having to approve a candidate. It is possible that the process may drag out if nations like the U.S. decide to oppose a decision to appoint Okonjo-Iweala, whom the African, Caribbean, and the European Union delegations have supported. Rockwell said during the media briefing that there was likely to be “frenzied activity” in the meantime to secure consensus. If Washington maintains it will not support Okonjo-Iweala, the WTO’s constitution does ultimately provide for a vote, although every previous director-general in the organisation’s 25-year history has been appointed by consensus. Experts suggest a tough mandate if an appointment was made against the wishes of the US. The US has been unhappy with the way the WTO has operated for some time, objecting to China’s designation as a developing country and blocking the appointment of new judges to the organisation’s appeals body.