Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Pakistan: Imran Khan, from the cricket field to politics

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

  • UN backs Iraqi request for inquiry into IS militant crimes

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

Business

Pascal Lamy re-elected head of WTO

Latest update : 2009-04-30

Frenchman Pascal Lamy has been unanimously re-elected director-general of the World Trade Organisation for a second term of four years by the organisation's 153 member states. He was unchallenged for the post.

AFP - World Trade Organisation member states unanimously endorsed the trade body's current director-general Pascal Lamy to head the organisation for four more years, the WTO announced.

Lamy was unchallenged for the post, marking the first time that an incumbent director-general stood unopposed, they said.

Lamy's post was meant to have come up for election, but none of the organisation's 153 member states put forward another candidate by the deadline of December 31, 2008.

The Frenchman, who took the helm of the global trade watchdog in September 2005, announced last November that he would aim to take on a second term in office when his current four-year mandate expires in August.

Accepting the endorsement, Lamy told member states: "I am sure that the next four years will be difficult ... but I am sure that we can get out of this tempest unscathed."

Previous leadership races at the global trade body have often been fractious affairs that highlighted splits between rich and poor countries or between Europeans and the United States.

In 1999, the wrangling was only resolved by a compromise decision to appoint the two outstanding candidates on a shortened term of three years each.

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Mike Moore was followed by the former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Supachai Panitchpakdi.

Lamy, a former French government official and the European Union's trade commissioner until 2004, has championed the rules-based global free trade system the WTO underpins during his tenure.

In recent months he has also reiterated warnings against protectionism as the economic crisis has deepened.

But he has also been unable to overcome long-standing divisions between industralised and developing nations, agricultural exporters and importers that have kept the seven year-old Doha Round of trade negotiations in stalemate.

The last WTO ministerial meeting collapsed in mid-2008 without an agreement to remove barriers to trade in agriculture, industrial goods and services, and attempts to organise another ministerial in December floundered.

Date created : 2009-04-30

COMMENT(S)