At yesterdays UNWTO Ambassador meeting in Madrid, ahead of the General Assembly next month in China, the outgoing Secretary General, Dr. Taleb Rifai, chose to make curiously timed, critical remarks about investigative media articles by eTN and WorldTourismWire related to the UNWTO Secretary General election, threatening with legal action.
Mzembi provided UNWTO with irrefutable documentation of irregularities during the election, and one would have hoped the outgoing Secretary General would be proactive, to shine a light on it, to make it right.
The top post of our UNWTO should be our top watch dog, guarding fiercely the reputation, standards, and ethics of the world’s leading tourism organization. This does not appear to be the case with Dr. Rifai.
Attending Zimbabwe’s Ambassador Rudo Chitiga said her countries intervention is not for the good of her minister, but for the good of tourism and UNWTO.
eTN, the industry leader of global travel/tourism news, has a subsidiary media platform geared towards news relevant to UNWTO, WTTC and other major international tourism association – WorldTourismWire.
Today, we received reports from the packed Madrid meeting, that not one single mention was made of election irregularities. We are disappointed Dr. Rifai spent time in this important meeting maligning media. As media, we have a very real obligation to report known misconduct or irregularities related to the UNWTO Secretary General election.
We are of the belief authentic efforts should be spent on reviewing and discussing miscreant conduct related to the UNWTO Secretary General election, rather than speaking poorly of media who report on the election.
So far eTN and WorldTourismWire only heard from H.E. Walter Mzembi. Some readers may think this publication is a spokesperson for Mzembi and Zimbabwe.
“Nothing could be further from the truth”, Steinmetz continued to say.” Our floor was always open for comments. Especially we would welcome input from SG nominee Zurab Pololikashvil, and former SG candidates Mr. Márcio Favilla, Mr. Jaime Alberto Cabal Sanclement, Mrs. Young-shim Dho.”