19 February 2021 | Statements

Unitaid welcomes the appointment of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to lead WTO

Geneva – Unitaid warmly welcomes the appointment of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“I congratulate Dr. Okonjo-Iweala for taking the leadership of the WTO at such a critical moment in the global fight against COVID-19,” said Unitaid’s Executive Director Dr Philippe Duneton. “With this choice, WTO Members have made history. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s experience and strong commitment to tackling the pandemic as the WHO Special Envoy for the ACT-Accelerator make her an invaluable asset to navigate the WTO through the COVID-19 crisis and shape its response to the economic and health challenges posed by the pandemic. I look forward to our collaboration in finding and developing innovative solutions to make sure that critical life-saving tools, vaccines, treatments and diagnostics, are made available quickly and equitably for all, to defeat the pandemic”.

Unitaid will continue to proactively engage with the private sector, governments, donors and civil society, to invest in the Medecines Patent Pool (MPP) and other mechanisms to accelerate access to health tools in low- and middle-income countries to bring COVID-19 and other diseases to an end.

With Dr. Okonjo-Iweala onboard as WTO’s new Director-General, and her long experience in economy, finance and development, we will continue to join efforts to collectively expand access to innovative treatment and care for all.

Media contact: Thalia Bayle | +41 79 660 56 37 | baylet@unitaid.who.int

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