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Kamala Harris speaks with Okonjo Iweala on WTO reform

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US vice president Kamala Harris spoke over the phone with the director-general of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala during which they discussed the need for reforms within the WTO to maximize its effectiveness for the future.

According to tweets via their individual verified Twitter handles @VP and @NOIweala respectively, the American VP had initiated the call to the WTO chief.

The VP tweeted, “l spoke with WTO director-general Dr. Okonjo-Iweala. We agreed to advance international trade for recovery and equitable economic growth. We discussed human rights, investing in the environment, health, and technology to spur development and prosperity for the American people.”

And Okonjo-Iweala responded, thanking Kamala for the call, “Thank you madam vice president Kamala Harris @VP for a great conversation on the way forward on @WTO reform. Your encouragement and wise counsel is much appreciated.”

Okonjo-Iweala had earlier held discussions on WTO reforms with ambassador Lopes Parola of Brazil, who represents the mission of Brazil to the World Trade Organisation and other international economic organisations in Geneva; George Mina, ambassador and permanent representative of Australia to the World Trade Organisation, WIPO, and UNCTAD; as well as Yamazaki Kazuyuki of Japan, who is also his country’s mermanent Mission of Japan to international organisations in Geneva.

The White House, in a readout of the call, said: “The vice president and the director-general discussed how improved living standards, labour rights, human rights, and the well-being of working families must be at the centre of our shared priorities to use trade as a lever to lift communities out of poverty.

“They also discussed the need for reforms within the World Trade Organisation to maximise its effectiveness for the future.

The white house reported that during the call, Kamala congratulated Okonjo-Iweala and offered her strong support as the global community works toward recovery from the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“They committed to work together to address the economic and health consequences of COVID-19 and climate change, and to prioritize resilience in the global supply chain.”

Kamala and Okonjo-Iweala committed to work closely together to accelerate momentum in the global economy for the benefit of all.

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