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WTO executive council welcomes new chairman

The Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) held its first session as the governing body of a United Nations specialized agency…

The Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) held its first session as the governing body of a United Nations specialized agency  and its first under the chairmanship of the new Chairman, Vyacheslav Fetisov, Chief of the Federal Agency for Physical Education, Sport and Tourism of the Russian Federation.
 
The 73rd session of the Executive Council was held on 8 – 9 July in Hyderabad, India.
 
“It was a very intense, but successful meeting,” declared WTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli. “After changes in the Russian government, Mr. Fetisov took over the chirmanship of the Executive Council and introduced a great deal of fresh energy and ideas.” According to the Secretary-General, the appointment of Mr. Fetisov – former international ice-hockey star and coach of the Russian national team – has a symbolic meaning since the theme adopted for World Tourism Day 2004 is “Sport and tourism: Two living forces for mutual understanding, culture and the development of society”. The United Nations declared 2005 – International Year for Sport and Physical Education.
 
Besides the Organization`s programme of work and administrative matters, the WTO governing body dedicated much of its time to issues such as the Sustainable Tourism – Eliminating Poverty (ST-EP) initiative and the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. “Support to ST-EP of the Executive Council was outstanding and we are all looking forward to the launching of the ST-EP Foundation in Seoul,” said Mr. Frangialli. The Government of Korea has committed to endow the ST-EP Foundation with five million US dollars. The first tranche of funding will be released in September 2004.
 
At the suggestion of the Executive Council members, WTO will prepare three strategic documents. It will revise the Vision 2020 document from 1995, updating the international tourism development forecasts for 2010 and beyond. The second document will be a White paper which will follow that of 1997 and will identify the lines of force currently acting on international tourism. “The WTO Agenda 2010 will identify the developments to take place in the Organization`s activities between now and the year 2010 and the preparation of the White paper,” Mr. Frangialli stressed. The WTO Strategic Group will have a crucial role in the preparation of this document.
 
The 74th session of the Executive council will be held on 2-3 December 2004 in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, to be followed with a session in spring 2005 in Bulgaria.

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