Zimbabwe’s Tourism Minister wants to be UNWTO Secretary General, reaction from Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

vanilla islandsZimbabwe’s Minister of Tourism Mr. Walter Mzembi wants to secure his move to become the next Secretary General of the United Nation World Tourism Organization – UNWTO.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has endorsed the candidature of Zimbabwean Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi who wants to contest for the position of secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).The SADC Council of Ministers, which met in the Botswana capital last week, said the regional bloc would rally behind the Zimbabwean minister when he contests for the top UNWTO job in 2017.

Mzembi is eyeing the UNWTO secretary general position when the incumbent, former Jordanian Foreign Minister Talib Rifai ends his second term. The Zimbabwean minister is current chairperson of the UNWTO’s Africa Commission, a post he has held since 2013.

Pascal Viroleau, CEO of the Vanilla Islands organization published a statement regarding the subject. He asks, “Can Zimbabwe today be seen as a country set to unify the world of tourism through their emissary, the current Minister of Tourism?”

The statement says,

“The race is not a matter of clan or group but remains a matter of unification! The Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands all depend on tourism and these islands are known as year round tourism destinations. They believe in tourism and work hard to defend the industry. The islands have been active supporters of the work of the UNWTO. The islands have always said that the position of UNWTO General Secretary after Taleb Rifai is for a unifier and one the world at large will accept. The race is not a matter of clan or group but remains a matter of unification!

Anyone who will replace Taleb Rifai as Secretary General will find his shoes very large to fill. The Secretariat of the Indian Ocean Islands (Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, Comoros, Maldives, Mayotte and Seychelles) will be meeting soon to make their proposal for the position known.

The UNWTO members should think about the choice they all have to make. Already the UNWTO does not have every country as member states and only recently another country dropped from the membership list. This is why the one who replaces Taleb Rifai needs to be a real unifier with the country he today serves seen and respected as an example in the Community of Nations.”



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