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Again, Pololikashvili nominated to lead UNWTO

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Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO<br />Secretary General<br />


Committee Explores Safe Travel In Age Of Vaccines

The Executive Council of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has expressed its continued support for Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. Meeting in Madrid, its members nominated him to continue leading the United Nations specialised agency for four more years.

At the end of the 113th session of the Executive Council held as a hybrid event in Spanish capital, members voted in person and in secret for their choice of leader for 2022-2025. Incumbent Pololikashvili won 76 per cent of the votes in a process where the Kingdom of Bahrain also put forward a candidate for the position, Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa. Her Excellency congratulated Mr Pololikashvili on his win and the Government of Bahrain expressed its support for UNWTO.

Mr Pololikashvili had based his campaign for re-election both on the progressive institutional and policy reforms undertaken during his first term, and on his clear leadership of global tourism throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The Executive Council’s recommendation will be carried forward to the 24th Session of the UNWTO General Assembly, due to be held in Marrakesh, Morocco, towards the end of the year.

In Madrid, both the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, and His Majesty King Felipe VI expressed their support for UNWTO and its leadership. The Secretary-General has also laid the foundations for seizing the momentum of the rollout of vaccines to ensure a harmonized approach to the return of safe and seamless international travel.

Meanwhile, the Global Tourism Crisis Committee has met for the first time in 2021. Organised by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the cross-sector body met in Madrid during the 113th session of the UNWTO Executive Council to advance solid plans to restart tourism.

The meeting focused on the integration of vaccines into a harmonised approach to safe travel and launching a coordinated effort to boost confidence in the sector.

With countries around the world now rolling out vaccines against the COVID-19 virus, the Committee noted that this opens a critical window in the fight against the pandemic and to promote the safe resumption of international travel. Members highlighted the importance of stepping up coordination, within the framework of the International Health Regulations, of vaccination certificates to ensure the implementation of common, harmonised digital related travel principles, protocols and documents. This would be in line with the work being carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has reported at potential applications of digital technology to enable safe international travel and facilitate arrivals and departures.

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