UNWTO elec­toral roadmap set

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Sugar Chagonda

THE 104th ses­sion meet­ing of the ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil of the United Na­tions World Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion (UNWTO), which has just ended in Luxor, Egypt, has ap­proved the elec­toral pro­ce­dures, guide­lines and road map for the 2017 plebiscite.

This pro­vides a road map for the elec­tion of the new Sec­re­tary Gen­eral to take charge of the af­fairs of the or­gan­i­sa­tion re­plac­ing Dr Taleb Ri­fai, whose ten­ure ends in De­cem­ber 2017.

The UNWTO will this month for­mally an­nounce the va­cancy for its top post through note ver­bales to be sent to all mem­ber states. The meet­ing also set March 11, 2017 as the dead­line for the re­ceipt of ap­pli­ca­tions.

This means, Africa’s can­di­date for the UNWTO top job, Zim­babwe’s Min­is­ter of Tourism and Hos­pi­tal­ity In­dus­try, Dr Wal­ter Mzembi and other as­pir­ing can­di­dates from other mem­ber states, can now for­mally present their ap­pli­ca­tions and cre­den­tials to the UNWTO Sec­re­tar­iat be­fore the dead­line, which is two months be­fore the elec­tive 105th ses­sion of the UNWTO ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil meet­ing to be held in Madrid, Spain, in May 2017.

The meet­ing in Egypt also agreed the ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil will, in Au­gust 2017, rec­om­mend the suc­cess­ful can­di­date for the sec­re­tary gen­eral’s post to the UNWTO Gen­eral As­sem­bly, about a month be­fore the 22nd ses­sion of the Gen­eral As­sem­bly to be held be­tween Septem­ber 4 and 9, 2017 in Chengdu, China.

It is at this fo­rum where the elec­tion of the Sec­re­tary Gen­eral for the pe­riod 2018 to 2021 will be done.

Dr Mzembi has since out­lined his 10 Point Plan, which is the bedrock of his elec­tion man­i­festo. The plan is un­der­pinned by his vi­sion for a UNWTO that is re­spon­sive to mem­ber States’ as­pi­ra­tions for global tourism that is in­clu­sive, in­te­gra­tive, tol­er­ant and re­spon­si­ble, eco­nom­i­cally em­pow­er­ing, equitable and sus­tain­able and as an ef­fec­tive tool for peo­ple to peo­ple sol­i­dar­ity and cit­i­zen diplo­macy.

So far Dr Mzembi’s op­po­nents re­main largely un­known and un­de­clared. Global tourism an­a­lysts be­lieve it is time for Africa, and if this hap­pens it will be the first time ever that an African takes over the reins of this pow­er­ful United Na­tions Agency, which came into ex­is­tence in 1975.

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