Today, Korean Trade Minister Bark Taeho and candidates from Indonesia and New Zealand have been eliminated from the race for the WTO’s Director General office (see here).
After the first round of election, Mr. Bark was among the seven remaining candidates running for the DG office in WTO.
The odds were against Mr. Bark, owing largely to external circumstances. For one, with two ethnic Koreans already in two major international organizations (Mr. Ban Ki Moon as the Secretary General of UN and Dr. Kim Jim Yong as the President of the World Bank), many believed that the WTO members are seeking for more diversity. In addition, many were skeptical of Mr. Bark’s chances, given that Korea is no longer a developing countries, a major voting block, which wants to see its interests represented. The fact that Mr. Bark has not been a “Geneva insider” could also have driven a number of members away (see here).
After today’s second round of election, the two remaining candidates are Herminio Blanco of Mexico and Roberto Azevedo of Brazil. Whoever wins, the next DG will come from South America.