The just ended Executive Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) held in Luxor Egypt, has approved the electoral procedures, guidelines and road map for the 2017 plebiscite, setting the stage for aspiring candidates to present their credentials for the World tourism top job.
UNWTO will this month formally announce the vacancy for its top post through note verbales to be sent to all member states, following which aspiring candidates including Zimbabwe Tourism and Hospitality Minister Walter Mzembi can begin formally presenting their credentials.
The meeting in Egypt resolved that the Executive Council will, in August 2017, recommend approved candidates to the UNWTO General Assembly ahead of the 22nd session of the General Assembly to be held between 4 and 9 September 2017 in Chengdu, China where the election of the Secretary General will be held.
Zimbabwe and Africa’s sole candidate, Minister 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.
Global tourism analysts believe it’s time for Africa, and if this happens it will be the first time ever that an African will hold this powerful post since 1975 when it was first occupied.
The new Secretary General will take over from Dr Taleb Rifai from Jordan, whose tenure ends in December 2017.