The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Tuesday formally appointed Roberto Azevedo as its new director general replacing Pascal Lamy, whose tenure will end on Aug. 31.
The WTO general council held a formal meeting Tuesday in which 159 members approved by consensus the recommendation of the three-person panel for the selection made on May 8, WTO spokesperson Keith Rockwell told a press conference.
Azevedo said he would do his best to help members in building consensus and achieving the goals set out in the agreements establishing the WTO. He added he had a lot to learn from Lamy's experience.
"The WTO has a lot to benefit from a smooth and orderly transition," he said.
Lamy said he believed the selection process was an example of efficiency and another sign that the organization is capable of delivering positive results when members work constructively towards a common goal.
"This is a moment of unity for the WTO family, in which we can briefly put aside our day-to-day concerns to look at the bigger picture of what this organization represents and its fundamental values," he said.
Azevedo, 55, has been Brazil's permanent representative to the WTO since 2008.
He has worked directly on economic issues for more than 20 years. He oversaw dispute settlements affairs in Brazil, acting as head of delegation in several WTO cases. He participated in the Doha round of negotiations as head of the Brazilian delegation from 2005 to 2006.
An unprecedented nine candidates ran for the top post in a process lasting half a year. Four candidates were eliminated after the first round and three more after the second. Azevedo advanced into the final round running against former Mexican Minister for Trade and Industry Herminio Blanco Mendoza.