The new head of the World Trade Organization threw her support behind long-fruitless efforts among member countries to agree on fisheries subsidies that could reduce overfishing, calling the efforts a top priority as she took office on Monday.
Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian economist and former government minister, donned a mask and doled out elbow bumps — Covid-19 oblige — as she took up the job at WTO headquarters on the banks of Lake Geneva.
“I am coming into one of the most important institutions in the world and we have a lot of work to do,” said Okonjo-Iweala, 66, who is both the first woman and the first African to hold the job. “I feel ready to go.”
Negotiators have been tasked with striking an agreement that could help eliminate subsidies for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and prohibit some fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing.