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Beijing confirmed as the venue for the upcoming WTO General Assembly

The World Tourism Organization`s (WTO) General Assembly will be held as planned between…

The World Tourism Organization`s (WTO) General Assembly will be held as planned between 17 and 24 October 2003 in Beijing, as informed in the official letter sent yesterday to the Member States.

A group composed of the Chairman of the Executive Council (Russia), Mr. Vladimir Strzhalkovskiy, the WTO host country (Spain) Secretary of Tourism, Mr. German Porras Olalla and the WTO Secretary-General Mr. Francesco Frangialli was entrusted by the WTO Executive Council in beginning of June to take the final decision on the venue for the upcoming General Assembly.

The conditions for the organization of the General Assembly as scheduled were lifting of the travel restrictions to Beijing by the World Health Organization and also by the majority of the countries, and the possibility of meeting in conditions of complete safety, allowing a high level of participation and thus the success of the Assembly.

The group discussed the matter in mid-July and came to the conclusion that the conditions for a safe meeting in Beijing were met and therefore confirmed the holding of the Assembly at the place and dates planned: Beijing (China), 17 and 24 October 2003.

The three members of the group invited the countries to participate in this Assembly at the highest level possible given its historic dimension, as it will be its task to decide on the transformation of the Organization into a specialized agency of the United Nations. Through their participation, they will also be expressing to China and to other Asian countries affected by the SARS epidemic their confidence and solidarity.

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