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September 22, 2017

The UNWTO Election Fiasco Continues


Is the UNWTO blocking Walter Mzembi’s proposal for agenda items on widespread Secretary-General election irregularities to be presented to the full General Assembly next month in Chengdu, China?

It appears that may well be the very unfortunate case.

In recent days, the UNWTO disingenuously proposed to put Zimbabwe’s agenda items to the Executive Council, instead of the General Assembly.

The fiasco continues. The Executive Council of the UNWTO, who appear to have some culpability with election irregularities, are being asked to review and report if there were irregularities related to Georgia candidate, Zurib Polokashvili, being nominated by the Executive Council as Secretary General elect.

Despite urging global tourism leaders from backing Zimbabwe’s Walter Mzembi proposal to have the General Assembly review and address the agenda items, the UNWTO continues to bring the organization into disrepute.  Transparency, vigilance and authentic efforts to review documented instances of election misconduct is vital for the future of our UNWTO.  This should not be turned over individuals who may have a vested interest in concealing miscreant election activity. This starts with the decision of whether to table the Mzembi agenda items to the General Assembly.

The Mzembi agenda items absolutely must be put forth to the General Assembly, too much is at stake to conceal the election misconduct. Enough of the backroom meetings, the deals, the secret handshakes.

By shining light on election wrong-doings, the UNWTO will be taking a very important step forward to rehabilitating what has become in recent months, a rather tarnished reputation.

Pololikashvili’s nomination requires two-thirds of all member countries attending the September General Assembly to vote for the Georgia candidate before he is ratified to lead our UNWTO.  This is not a foregone conclusion. This should not be a done deal.  With access to Mzembi agenda items that fully detail election irregularities related to the Pololikashvili’s candidacy, campaign and subsequent nomination to Secretary General Elect, the General Assembly can only then vote intelligently. The Mzembi agenda items must not be dismissed or marginalized.  The Mzembi agenda items must be made available to all voting members so the sham nomination of Zurab Pololikashvili, elect can possibly be corrected in Chengdu, China by the General Assembly.

This is global tourism’s top post. Perhaps not surprisingly, the election process has shown us we are not immune to misconduct at the highest levels of what has been globally known as an unimpeachable organization with integrity and dignity.  This is our UNWTO, we expect better, we demand better, we deserve better.

by Mel Webster

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