While it has received less attention compared to other international organisations such as the WHO, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has a key role to play both during and in the aftermath of the Corona crisis. However, the organization has seen better days: the dispute settlement pillar is severely damaged, the crucial Ministerial Conference, planned for this June, had to be postponed. In addition, the organisation is facing a contentious race for the succession of WTO director general Roberto Azevedo who will leave the organization by the end of August.
What role has the WTO played during the COVID crisis and which role can it play regarding attempts to revitalise the global economy? How has COVID affected the discussions on current dossiers? What is to be expected from the leadership race and what will be the key challenges the new leader will have to face?
About the Speaker
Olaf Wientzek is the Director of the new Geneva Office of the German Political Foundation – Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) since May 2019. The office focuses on the activities of the Geneva-based multilateral organisations, particularly on trade, global health, human rights, migration and multilateralism in general. He has been working at KAS since 2009, first in the Brussels Office, later as the European Policy Coordinator in Berlin. From 2016 till 2019 he has been a member of the Board of the European Movement Germany. Olaf Wientzek holds a double-diploma in political science from the universities of Münster (Germany) and Lille (France), a Master from the College of Europe and a PhD from the University of Hildesheim.