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A rising power reaching the top? Brazilians now lead the WTO and the FAO

Following the news that Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo has been named the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Ben Richardson, Assistant Professor in International Political Economy (IPE) in the Department of Politics and International Studies, offers this comment.

A rising power reaching the top? Brazilians now lead the WTO and the FAO

"The choice of Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) points to the emergence of a new multilateral politics in the 21st century. Particularly noteworthy are the parallels between his selection and that of his compatriot, José Graziano da Silva, as Director-General of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 2011. Both candidates built a wide base of support among countries in the Global South by appealing to Brazil’s own development successes in trade disputes and hunger reduction. Likewise, both promoted the need to reform their respective organizations by differentiating policy according to the developmental status of their members. Although the institutional know-how of the Brazilian diplomats was certainly important in both cases, it was their country’s economic experience and its appeal to the collective which truly inspired confidence in their leadership credentials."

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Ben Richardson is available on +44 (0)2476 524462 or B dot J dot Richardson at warwick dot ac dot uk

Alternative contact University of Warwick press officer Anna Blackaby on +44 (0)2476 575910 or a dot blackaby at warwick dot ac dot uk