ZAMBIA has been elected into the UNWTO executive council. Tourism first secretary and Zambia’s liaison officer to the UNWTO Percy Ngwira in a statement stated that Tourism minister Jean Kapata and her delegation put up a spirited bid to get into the executive council after three decades of not been represented in the UNWTO most powerful organ.
“Zambia today (yesterday) 12th of September 2015 has been elected into the UNWTO Executive Council. The elections took place during the Fifty-seventh (57) meeting of the Commission for Africa meeting that was held today (yesterday) Saturday 12 September 2015, from 14:00 to 19:00in Medellin, Colombia,” Mr. Ngwira stated.
“Others from the African continent that have been elected include Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Morroco and Mozambique on a rotation basis.”
Mr. Ngwira stated that Zambia was admitted to the membership of the UNWTO in 1975 and had remained a committed member since then.
He stated that within the structure of the UNWTO, Zambia belonged to the Regional Commission for Africa.
“The last time Zambia served in the UNWTO Executive Council was in 1980. The Executive Council is UNWTO’s governing board, responsible for ensuring that the Organization carries out its work and adheres to its budget. It meets at least twice a year and is composed of Members elected by the General Assembly in a ratio of one for every five Full Members,” he stated
Mr. Ngwira stated that as host country of UNWTO´s Headquarters, Spain had a permanent seat on the Executive Council.
He stated that representatives of the Associate Members and Affiliate Members participated in Executive Council meetings as observers. Mr. Ngwira stated that the Executive Council’s main task was to take all necessary measures, in consultation with the Secretary-General, for the implementation of its own decisions and recommendations of the Assembly and report thereon to the Assembly.
“Membership to the UNWTO Executive Council is open to all fully paid-up members of the organisation. The Council consists of Full Members elected by the Assembly in the proportion of one Member for every five Full Members, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure laid down by the Assembly with a view to achieving fair and equitable geographical distribution,” Mr. Ngwira stated.
“Elections for one-half of the Council membership are held every two years through regional commission meeting at every General Assembly meeting. The Council also elects one Chair and two Vice-Chairs from among its Members.”
He stated that the Executive Councils also had specialized committees which were subsidiary organs of the UNWTO Executive Council; except the World Committee on Tourism Ethics which was a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly, and their role was to advise on management and programme content.
Mr. Ngwira stated that Zambia’s election into the UNWTO Executive Council meant that Zambia would now have a unique opportunity to have a say in the selection of candidates for the next UNWTO Secretary General,an invaluable opportunity to have a greater voice in the development of tourism in the world.
“An opportunity for Zambia to be given priority for any technical assistance from the UNWTO. An opportunity for Zambia to have a stronger voice in the planning of activities for the UNWTO. An opportunity for priority consideration for training of officials from Zambia and priority for UNWTO Scholarships,” Mr. Ngwira stated.
“An opportunity for Zambia to have a bigger say in the budget of the UNWTO. An opportunity for Zambians to be considered priority for UNWTO Job opportunities. A unique opportunity for Zambia’s image building with international organisations. An opportunity for Zambia’s tourism promotion.”
The executive council is the governing body of the UNWTO responsible for ensuring that the organization carries out its work and adheres to its budget. It meets at least twice a year.
In 2013, Zambia successfully co-hosted the 20th Session of the UNWTO General Assembly with neighboring Zimbabwe.