The creation of the new Organization follows the decision of the 20th UNWTO General Assembly, to transform the existing ST-EP Foundation into a full-fledged international organization, to be headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
The UNWTO Sustainable Tourism - Eliminating Poverty Initiative (ST-EP) was born in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.to promote poverty alleviation through the provision of assistance to sustainable development projects. The initiative focuses on activities that specifically alleviate poverty, deliver development and create jobs for people living on less than a dollar a day. The initiative has been strongly supported by several countries and particularly by the Republic of Korea, host to the ST-EP Foundation.
“The ST-EP projects make a real difference to people’s lives by acting at the local level and providing new opportunities in the poorest communities through tourism”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. “The creation of this new international organization, with the important support of the Korean Government will allows us to multiply our actions and change the lives of more people”.
“The Republic of Korea has been a strong supporter of the ST-EP Initiative through the its Foundation and is fully committed to make this new organization a major contributor to alleviate poverty through tourism”, said the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, Yoo Jinryong.
“Over the last decade, the ST-EP Foundation has implemented over 100 projects worldwide. The new Organization reinforces our capacity to expand our action” said Ambassador Dho Young-shim, Chairperson of the ST-EP Foundation.