The Rushford Report - Part II brilliantly summarizes the strengths and weakness of the nine candidates for the post of the WTO DG here.
I found this quite interesting in the context of the ability of the DG and the WTO Secretariat to move the multilateral negotiations forward:
" On Monday, I reported why veteran WTO watchers consider this election to be especially important for the venerable multilateral institution’s future, citing the prescient warning from economist Jagdish Bhagwati that the WTO is now in real “danger.” And I reported on the qualifications of three of the nine candidates who come from the Asia-Pacific: Tim Groser of New Zealand, Indonesia’s Mari Pangestu; and Taeho Bark, South Korea’s candidate. Today, the rest of the field.
Three come from Latin America, two from Africa, and one from the Middle East. Altogether, it’s a strong field — although it is not clear which of the nine would exercise truly strong leadership. Nor is it clear that the top political leaders in major world capitals really are focused on the importance of selecting such a leader. And as outgoing Director-General Lamy has learned, without that necessary backing, no WTO head, no matter how dedicated and energized, can stop the institutional drift."
Is it inevitable that the major trading powers need to recognize and get involved in the multilateral institution for it to succeed? It has been note that a lack of a candidate (except New Zealand) from the developed world (major trading countries) indicates a lack of interest in the institution's future? Is it reading to much? The next DG would perhaps need to take both the developed and developing worlds leaders together to achieve what multilateralism can really achieve.