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Brazilian Takes WTO Helm

Roberto Azevedo during news conference at Permanent Mission of Brazil to the WTO, Geneva, May 8, 2013.
The World Trade Organization is getting a new leader, after talks intended to boost trade have stalled for years.

Brazil's WTO ambassador Roberto Carvalho de Azevedo will take over from Frenchman Pascal Lamy in September. Azevedo is the first Latin American and the first citizen of one of the large emerging nations known as "BRICS" (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) to lead the WTO.

The WTO nations have been haggling over a global trade agreement since 2001. Member nations have not worked out disagreements over farm subsidies, tariffs on manufactured goods, and access to world markets by developing countries.

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff welcomed Azevedo's appointment as a "victory for the World Trade Organization," rather than a gain for Brazil or a group of nations.