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November 28, 2021

UNWTO Secretary General Candidate Dho: Now is the time for action

The curtain is lowered on the 59th meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in Addis Ababa last week. This was the case not only for Africa but also for the ongoing campaign for the election of a new UNWTO Secretary General.

The nominee will be nominated by the UNWTO Executive Council at its 105th session to be held on May 11-12 in Madrid, Spain. The UNWTO General Assembly will take the final decision. The next General Assembly will be held  September 4-9 in Chengdu, China.

The article of the statute of UNWTO says that the position of Secretary-General is one of great importance, requiring the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity, as well as a firm commitment to the values and principles of the Organization. Candidates presented should have proven leadership and managerial abilities, extensive experience in international relations, and strong diplomatic and communication skills.

The Rome based eTN correspondence Mario Masciullo attended the Ethiopian conference and had a chance to speak to Ambassador Dho Young-Shim, the candidate for the Republic of Korea.

Ambassador Dho told eTN: ” Having been playing a frontline role in tourism at a global level for the past 4 decades and operating within the UN and UNWTO for over twenty years, I am the Chairperson of the ST-EP Foundation. ST-EP is UNWTO’s response in focusing on the elimination of poverty through tourism. The ST-EP Foundation is now in its final days of UNWTO custodianship in accordance with a decision taken in 2013 by the UNWTO Executive Council and its membership at the UNWTO General Assembly.

The question posed could have sounded provocative: “Madame Dho, why do you want to run for the UNWTO’s top job?”

“Knowing from first-hand experience the challenges and opportunities for tourism across all regions of the world, especially tourism’s ability to elevate nations for the benefit of all citizens, I’m firm in my belief that with the right leadership, tourism can finally get the attention, support, and resources needed to operate as a key part of the global growth agenda”, was Dho’s response.

In her own words, Ambassador Dho is clear in her convictions: “We live in challenging times. We all see it. All around. People are struggling to find hope.”

No country is able to get away from the troubles that the world is experiencing, whether in their economy, or amongst their people. This generation has never been so challenged in how to create a future for all to come together, peacefully, and with a feeling of personal value. At the same time, I see, I know, that tourism offers a way for people, whoever they are and wherever they live, to have hope. Tourism creates jobs. It creates stability. And it naturally creates identity. I know the difference that makes to creating opportunities for countries to build a future for the better of all. Tourism must be seen and used a part of the solution to global growth and development. Now is the time for action. No more words. Action”

For this reason, Ambassador Dho views the position of UNWTO leadership holistically. Dho emphasizes: “It’s not about me. It’s about the UNWTO global tourism community. We all together, are working to bring the world to a better place, one where people can recognize and celebrate their value, and the value of others. As Secretary General it will be my job to empower others so that tourism can be applied to lift up people and places across the world, making economies stronger, societies stronger. As Secretary General, it will be my job to unlock the power of tourism as a force for good for all. But I cannot do this alone. No one can. It must be a team effort”.

As stated by the Ambassador of Foreign Affairs of Korea in Spain at the formal presentation of this nation’s chosen candidate: Together, Madame Dho, with her chosen Deputy, Carlos Vogeler, a well known and respected leader of and friend to global Tourism, offer a unique combination of global expertise, experience, insight and exposure.

“My country is confident in their exceptional ability to lead the UNWTO, and its membership, to a position of even greater importance and impact within the Tourism sector, and wider global community.” Concludes Madame Dho.

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